Impact Wrestling Slammiversary XV
Impact Zone
Soundstage 21, Universal Studios
July 2, 2017

Watch: Fite TV/PPV

Braxton Sutter, Allie and Mahabali Shera vs. KM, Laurel Van Ness and Kongo Kong

Well so much for these guys not making Slammiversary. At least it’s only on the pre-show. Briskly paced, simple opener – this at least had a little more energy than many of the similar combinations on Impact this month. Allie has break out potential for Impact as a character and they have to be smart about how they use her going forward. They could be getting more out of Kongo Kong too, it was nice to see him in the main event on Impact last week even if it was just to take the fall. **1/2

TNA World Tag Team and Global Force Wrestling Tag Team Championships
LAX (Ortiz and Santana)
© def. Naomichi Marufuji and Taiji Ishimori, Drago and El Hijo De Fantasma, Laredo Kid and Garza Jr

What a wonderful, messy, chaotic match. This was exactly the sort of delightful all action sprint you’d have hoped for here. It was a little clumsy at times (understandable given the number of styles and cultures clashing) but the sheer energy and the wide variety of unique combinations really made this pop. LAX deserve oodles of credit for being the glue that held it together as well, particularly Diamante who was surprisingly involved despite seemingly hurting her leg at one stage. This is what can make Impact stand out. Putting together unique matches and combinations like this – stuff you can’t see anywhere else and just cutting them loose in a wacky sprint with like fifteen dives. Hopefully we see plenty more of Drago, Fantasmo, Ishimori and Marufuji on the upcoming TV tapings in fun roles. LAX are a superb anchor team for the tag team division. ***3/4

Moose and DeAngelo Williams def. Eli Drake and Chris Adonis

Bar an uncooperative table at the very end (which they compensated for post-match) this was the very best version of this match possible. Williams vastly exceeded expectations. Not only did he execute everything without seeming out of place – he was actually genuinely explosive. He wasn’t tentative, he committed to every movement and was probably the best worker in the match. It was designed to showcase him and he stepped up – breaking out standing moonsaults, corner cannonballs and frog splashes with aplomb. He should give up on the whole football thing to be honest, with more time and work there may be something in wrestling for him. ***1/2

Strap Match
Ethan Carter III def. James Storm

I kept waiting for this to kick up a gear. They paid off the Strap grudge pretty well but other than that the match never reached another level. It didn’t feel much like the payoff to the bitter dispute that it was meant to be. It lacked some fire and passion and grit. Storm hit his head on the ringpost which caused his to collapse a little later after hitting the Last Call. EC3 then picked up the ring with a Tiger Driver. Perfectly functional for what it was, and the finish ensured Storm lost nothing in defeat, but this wasn’t particularly memorable. **3/4

Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park Esq. def. Scott Steiner and Josh Mathews

Pope joined commentary for this match. Let me preface this by saying this match may have been tailor-made for me. First of all it was a spiritual sequel to The Final Deletion as this time the man responsible for documenting became the documented but when the Jaws theme kicked in and Shark Boy swam up to Josh Mathews and bit him on the ass I was all in. And of course James Mitchell reemerging to trigger the return of Abyss was a very specific bit of fan service that caters straight to me in particular. Never mind this match featuring Scott Steiner chasing people in a golf kart shouting at them about how they’re fat. This rating may seem like madness but I enjoyed this so much so who the hell cares. ****

Full Metal Mayhem
Eddie and Alisha Edwards def. Davey Richards and Angelina Love

This was far from a super epic Full Metal Mayhem match but they did an excellent job of selling the intense nature of their dispute. They were working with intent. All four went out there and worked like they were actively trying to kill each other. It wasn’t particularly long but it was high tempo and all action. Hopefully Richards and Edwards move into new programmes from here, this felt like a conclusion. Love in particular needs to be commend for carrying much of the performance end of both this match and the feud in general. For as tired as The Beautiful People act became, she’s always been a top tier performer with considerable range. And Davey and Eddie tried to murder each other too including the finish which was a sunset flip off a ladder through a table. ***1/4

2 out of 3 Falls – TNA X-Division Championship
Sonjay Dutt © def. Low Ki

Low Ki won the first fall with a Warriors Way after rolling through a super Frankensteiner. Dutt revered a Dragon’s Clutch into a flash pin to tie it up. Dutt then retained with a Moonstomp. This was a strange match. There were glimpses of greatness. Some sequences were extremely crisp and exciting. But the moments in between those sequences felt a little flat. The match never really sustained it’s momentum and built to something progressively bigger. All three finishes were extremely well executed and it was occasionally great but it never quite got there entirely. I’m interested to see how Dutt pairs up with the rest of the X-Division, considering he’s a veteran compared to them these days. ***1/4

Unification Match – TNA Knockouts Championship and Global Force Wrestling Womens Championship
Sienna def. Rosemary

The most overbooked match of the night so far (I guess excluding JB and Park vs. Steiner and Mathews) as Allie and Laurel Van Ness interfered. They just seemed to be turning it up a level as the interference kicked in as well (though it did result in a tremendous belt shot near fall). They did some neat spots toward the end where Sienna used Rosemary’s mist against her to pick up the win. The wrong person won though. This was just good. ***

Unification Match – TNA World Heavyweight Championship and Global Force Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
Alberto El Patron def. Bobby Lashley

A lot like the X-Division title match this was a match that frequently picked up momentum only to fizzle out. Every time it felt like things were building the air would be slowly let back out of the balloon. There was some really fun stuff in there including El Patron diving head first into the floor, some sweet transitions in and out of the cross armbreaker as well as some general bad ass stuff from Lashley but the match felt like less than the sum of it’s parts. Some of the King Mo and Dos Caras silliness detracted from proceedings (except the general visual of Mo selling Caras’ chops) but the match never felt like one whole, rather a collection of fun little disjointed parts. El Patron winning the belt was probably the right move but he’ll need interesting challengers. He’s already worked with Eli Drake and EC3 so far so it’ll be interesting to see where they take him from here and the degree to which he delivers. ***1/4