July 17, 2021
For the first time in 498 days, Impact Wrestling will host an event in front of a paying audience as Slammiversary 2021 emanates from the Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee this Saturday (July 17). In the main event, Kenny Omega defends the Impact World Championship against Sami Callihan in a No DQ match.
Matt Cardona & TBA vs Brian Myers & Tenille Dashwood (w/Sam Beale & Kaleb with a K)
Matt Cardona and Brian Myers have seemingly been feuding in Impact since time immemorial, with their series currently tied at 1-1. I thought they’d go for another singles match here after Cardona’s return on the penultimate show before Slammiversary, but instead they pivoted to this mixed tag contest after Dashwood helped Myers beat Cardona down on the go-home show.
Although I don’t believe she’s signed an exclusive deal with Ring of Honor, Chelsea Green’s appearance at Best in the World did make me think her odds of being Deonna Purrazzo’s mystery challenger later on this show were greatly diminished. However, this spot is absolutely tailor-made for her and for a one-time appearance deal. Her and Cardona are definitely winning here, so it’ll be a nice moment for them as a couple. Prediction: Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green/Laurel Van Ness
Eddie Edwards vs W. Morrissey
W. Morrissey has been given the proverbial rocket push since debuting at Rebellion and in many ways rightfully so; he’s looked the part, talked the part and worked the part. He’s pinned Willie Mack and Rich Swann clean on successive monthly specials and could conceivably run over another Impact mainstay here.
We got this match as a result of Morrissey laying out Edwards before his personal dream match with Satoshi Kojima. Edwards, who has been recovering from recent appendix surgery, got mad and called for this match to get his revenge. Although I could definitely see Morrissey winning, I’m taking Edwards here as I think he might well be next in line for a shot at Omega. Prediction: Eddie Edwards
Moose vs Chris Sabin
This is one of the matches I’m looking forward to most on the entire card. Moose has been having probably a career-best year so far in 2021 and is a pretty good cert to overdeliver in his big spots, while any opportunity to see Chris Sabin in a longer singles match should be treasured.
The build here has also been a great example of A-to-B-to-C booking. Moose attacked Sabin’s surgically-repaired knee on route to pinning him to win the Under Siege main event. Sabin then returned after Moose attempted to derail the show in pursuit of another title shot, clocking him over the head with a chair shot. They’ve traded barbs and attacked each other since to setup a good quality singles match. Now he’s tied down to a new contract, Moose is absolutely winning here as he gets back towards title contention. Prediction: Moose
Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships
Fire N’ Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) (C) vs Havok & Rosemary
After vying for opportunities to challenge for the Knockouts title in recent months, Havok and Rosemary recently aligned in pursuit of the Knockouts Tag Team titles. On the go-home show, Father James Mitchell seemingly made Havok an official member of Decay, which does make me think that they have a slightly better chance of walking out of Slammiversary as champions.
However, I have a feeling that Fire N’ Flava will be over with the live crowd and are stronger choices as champions going forward, especially with Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering now reunited and there being the potential for The IIconics to debut. Also, the challengers looked strong on the go-home show, so if that logic means anything anymore, they’re losing. Prediction: Fire N’ Flava
Impact World Tag Team Championships
Violent By Design (Joe Doering/Rhino & Deaner) (C) vs The Good Brothers vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs TJP & Fallah Bahh
I moaned a few weeks ago about the contrived way in which we got to this match, seeingly it merely as a cheap way to get everyone on the show. However, I will concede that this multi-team format will get the best out of Violent By Design – it allows the other teams to do the vast majority of the work while allowing them to pick their spots and look like the beasts the promotion wants them to be.
The four-way hoss battle on the go-home show did dampen my enthusiasm for this match as it was very plodding, disjointed and slow but this should still be fun and spotty. While I’d love Swann and Mack to get a run with the belts, it’s not the right time for Violent By Design to drop them. Prediction: Violent By Design
X-Division Championship – Ultimate X match
Josh Alexander (C) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey vs Trey Miguel vs Ace Austin vs Petey Williams
For the first time since United We Stand in April 2019, Ultimate X returns and I have to say I’m pumped. The X-Division has been as hot as it’s been for a long time through the first half of this year and that’s down to the work of the guys featured here (as well as TJP). I think these guys have the potential to really deliver something special in what should definitely be the show opener.
Williams has two wins in Ultimate X from five previous appearances and he’s one of just two in the match to have actually worked the stipulation before, the other being Trey Miguel. I don’t think either man is walking away with the gold though. Although you could quite easily have Alexander lose here, as he’s the least ‘high-flying’ wrestler involved, I maintain that he’s absolutely the guy who should dethrone Kenny Omega at Bound for Glory later this year. As I see it, the most effective way of doing that is giving him another three months with the X-Division title and allowing him to activate Option C. So, Alexander retains and then defends next against either Bey or a new face. Prediction: Josh Alexander
Impact Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) vs TBA
With Chelsea Green out of the equation as illustrated earlier, I think there are six plausible candidates for Deonna’s mystery opponent. They are: Ruby Soho, Mickie James, Cassie Lee, Taylor Wilde, Su Yung or Gail Kim.
Of those, the latter three seem highly unlikely. Kim has shown no inclination to end her retirement again, while Yung would be a horrendous cop out (and an angle they’ve done before). Wilde would make sense but would also feel flat given that they could have built that up on the weekly TV rather than having her vanish for several weeks and then return. Of the three WWE releases, Soho is believed to still be serving out her no-compete clause, and I see Lee’s (formerly Peyton Royce) future in the tag division, so this spot wouldn’t feel right.
That leaves Mickie James. She’d be a big name and would have immediate cache as a three-time Knockouts Champion, but I don’t see her being around long-term with her other commitments with the NWA. So, I guess that means Purrazzo retains again? Hmm. Prediction: Deonna Purrazzo, probably
Impact World Championship- No Disqualification match
Kenny Omega (C) (w/Don Callis) vs Sami Callihan
I explained in detail earlier this week about the effectiveness of the build to this match, even though Callihan wouldn’t have been the person I’d have chosen to main event the first show with fans back.
Since I wrote that piece, there has been one change – it’s now a No Disqualification match. That means a couple of things. Firstly, it means that we should get a better match because Callihan’s weaknesses as a top performer are invariably well-hidden by the inclusion of plunder. Secondly, it means that while we’ll still probably get a garbage finish involving The Good Brothers and Don Callis, they won’t need a ref bump to do it.
If Callihan can produce the sort of match he was having 2-3 years ago, there’s a chance this can approach notebook levels. He’s not winning though, there’s not a chance of that. What holds more intrigue is whether we get a big angle to close the show. Prediction: Kenny Omega