I won’t be a true French if I wasn’t quoting Voltaire, one of the greatest philosophers ever, after the Monty Python (true, Bruce?). Slammiversary XVI was a great PPV, build-up wise. If you’re fellow readers of the weekly reviews, you know how great things had been to come to where we are right now. I’ll probably sound like a broken record tonight, but the last month of episodes was just brilliant and shed some light on new challenges for the company. But the major question was: could Slammiversary XVI be as good as we were expecting it to be? All Championships were on the line tonight, many bodies and souls too due to the multiple stipulations… Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night? It’s time to find out, but your French Enygma Steph way…
A nutcracking load of vicious stipulations
– Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard
An intergender match made the main-event of an Impact Wrestling PPV, which made Josh Matthews lose his voice… Sami wrestled Tessa like a real man, and Tessa fought Sami like a real wrestler. The golden baseball bat with the word Magnum written on it was very symbolistic of the determination of the young lady. No Dave, no Jake, no Madman, just 2 wrestlers and 2 baseball bats…
Tessa came out hot knocking Sami out of the ring and then going for 3 suicide dives. Sami caught her on the third and swang her into the guardrail. At that point, Sami laid Tessa out a few times and showed some disrespect. Two referee bumps allowed baseball bats to enter the game, with a magnificent Nutcracker from Tessa. Tessa defiantly did the oVe “thumbs up, thumbs down” in Sami’s face, which was a mistake as he hit the Cactus Piledriver for the win.
Yes, Tessa didn’t win but Sami grabbed his bat and hers, walked over to her trying to recollect herself in the corner, and instead of continuing the beating, he just handed her her bat and walked off. Sami Callihan may be the biggest SOB in wrestling, character-wise, he’s a respectful man. He proved it tonight. He and Tessa made history, and nothing else matters…
– Monster’s Ball Match for the Impact Knockouts Championship: Taya (c) vs. Havok vs. Rosemary vs. Su Yung
I told you Taya Valkyrie was the outsider in this match and I owe her an apology. Because I forgot her time in Lucha Libre AAA and Lucha Underground and the very tough matches she had there. This 4-Women Monster’s Ball was a first and I was expecting it to be clumsy, but nasty. James Mitchell was trying to get Su Yung to agree to make Havok the Champion. So it was effectively a team against 2 others.
Weapon wise, we had them all, chairs, cookie sheets, tables, staple gun, and of course tacks. Taya stapled a picture of her on the face of Su, and then made her swallow it. Rosemary was the lucky one who put the staples in the mat. After a vicious ladder segment involving the 4 women, Father James Mitchell being misted in the face, we saw a big Side Effect through the table from Taya to Rosemary. Havok hit a Super Tombstone on Su Yung and looked to win the match, but Taya recovered and threw a chair to break up the pin and get the win.
It may have been everything you wanted it to be, but the 4 ladies made great use of the stipulation and worked it very well. When we all bet on Rosemary or Havok, Taya showed how talented a Champion she is. Also, everyone understood Havok and Su still have a lot to deal with, while Rosemary and Taya have way more interesting matches to offer us for the title. There may be some trouble in The Undead Realm’s Paradise, and brilliant things happening in the Impact Zone.
– First Blood Match: Eddie Edwards vs Killer Kross
Whatever the stipulation, there needed some blood to put an end to this storyline. And of course, the best of Kross and the best of Eddie. Father Killer Kross, The Lord of the Parish of Doom, came out with the white face paint and black eyes. Eddie came to the ring with Brother Kenny 2.0 in hands.
Given the whole set up, Edwards had to win this match, to clearly define who he is, where he goes, what he wants. It was a brutal back and forth with a few chairs and power spots on the outside. After eating 3 Boston Knee Parties, Eddie realized he needed to step it up, so he snapped Kenny in half and shoved the broken side into Kross’ face.
Once the referee pulled them apart, Kross’ face was pouring blood from the mouth and Eddie was victorious. Obviously, this is what you could expect from a First Blood match. But Kross and Eddie tried the unexpected, with a new charisma and a new aura for Kross, this new facepaint that even more darkens his character. And Eddie killed Kenny 2.0. after Kross killed Kenny 1.0, he deliberately destroyed his best friend. The question now is, for which sake?
Nutcracking the titles
– X-Division Championship Match: Rich Swann (c) vs Johnny Impact
How to describe what seemingly was the match of the night? They locked up and Impact powdered as Swann looked to take control. Back in, they picked up the pace, working into counters and Impact bailed again. Back in, Johnny grounded the action. Swann escaped, hit head scissors, a dropkick and Johnny stalled. He replied with a springboard kick. To the floor, Impact stunned Swan off the barricade and danced to mock Swann. Back in, Impact followed with kicks, before dumping Swann again. John E. Bravo laid the boots to Swann.
Back in, Impact hit the neck breaker. Swann fired back, but Impact dumped him. Swann fired back and rolled into a DDT. They worked up top, Swann tripped him up, hit the superkick and the cartwheel 450 splash. Swann then followed with a tope con hilo. Back in, the top rope elbow followed. Impact battled back, hit the running knee strike and Johnny’s Edge connected. Impact laid the boots to Swann, but Swann countered the Moonlight Drive and caught Impact on the way in with an uppercut. Swann headed up top and pulled Impact up with him. They teased the Spanish fly, traded strikes, and both spilt to the floor.
Bravo rolled Impact back in and Swann followed. Johnny took Swann up top, the Spanish fly followed, he rolled and hit another in the ring. Swann fired back with chops, Swann took out Bravo with a tope, Impact followed but missed his dive. They brawled, back in they traded strikes, Johnny hit the Disaster kick and the Starship Pain. He continued with a knee strike, but Swann fired back with kicks and strikes and a hook kick. Two Lethal Injection followed, the Phoenix splash connected and Swann retained.
Despite John E. Bravo, who could have made this match a disaster, this was a great match, really smooth and clean, with both guys delivering and providing a great tease in a possible title change through quality work, but Swann overcame again and remains Champion. Johnny Impact will be X-Division one day, he showed tonight he was able of. But Rich Swann is a roughneck and will be hard to defeat.
– Impact World Championship Match: Cage (c) vs. Michael Elgin
I told Cage couldn’t lose this match as he has never been able to defend the title properly. So we had a Big Boys match with big boys doing big boy things. Cage really was there to defend and have his revenge. This was a great display of power moves and athletic moves since neither guy is one dimensional. They are grapplers, they are high-flyers, well they’re not human. Elgin worked over Brian Cage’s back, and it played into the match a few times. Cage couldn’t land the Drill Claw, because his back went out.
Right when everything was looking good for Elgin, he hit a Buckle Bomb, lifted Cage for the Elgin Bomb, but Cage rolled through, hit a sunset flip on Elgin and sat down into a Double Legged Cradle, a pretty basic move, after so much power spots.
This was an absolutely great hoss battle, with big lads doing big lads things at a crazy clip, and delivered big time. Way better than we could have expected, Cage was definitely good.
After the match, Elgin grabbed the belt, came teasing Don Callis and then pulled him on the ring. Elgin was about to powerbomb him. A masked man, even if everyone recognized Rhyno, came to make the save for Callis and hit the Gore. The fact he was masked
Instant nutcracking classics
– Triple Threat Match for the Impact Tag Team Championship: The North (c) vs LAX vs The Rascalz
The match was fast, The North was taken out early, but, once they got in the match, their power was definitely noticeable. Numerous pin attempt broke up, thanks to Ethan Page’s power. A weird point in the match, Santana got pushed off the top rope and immediately said something about his leg. What was about to be a really good match turned into the best they could do.
Refs and medical personnel came out to take care of Santana. He was hurt a few weeks ago, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he tweaked something on his bad knee. But it could also be a work… Either way, The North retain and LAX are protected if this is part of a story to write them off the TV if, as said, their contracts were not renewed.
– TJP vs. Willie Mack vs. Jake Crist vs. Trey Miguel
Impact Wrestling made a mistake when they unveiled the official Slammiversary tee-shirt on social media. And it was written what you can read above. So there was no more surprise. An X-Division match is a classic opener for a PPV, it always works, it’s always nice to watch. This one set the tone of the night with great quick action, fast-paced moves. TJP put Trey in the Romero Special, Jake pinned him but Willie Mack came off the top rope with a stomp to break it all up and grab the win. A very good match and an interesting match to come, if this one was meant to define a #1 contender for the X-Division Championship.
– Moose vs Rob Van Dam
I said Moose was never better than on PPV. I told you RVD seems not to understand you can’t go on being what you have been. That’s exactly what happened. Moose saved that match the best he could in front of RVD and his greatest hits. The 2 Hesitation kicks from Moose were good. Moose was not good at doing the Frog Splash, but RVD too. However, RVD played up his position after a drop toe hold into a chair and spent too many time pandering on the top rope. Van Dam hit the 5 Star Frog Splash but Moose escaped and RVD fell on a chair. Moose hit his Spear and grabbed the win over the legend. Despite his ugly pink trunks, Moose did his best to save it and picked up a well-deserved win.
I was lucky to watch the PPV live, which has never happened yet because I’m supposed to be in my bed at 2 AM. I went through the pain to watch this show with one of my fellow writers. There are no words to describe what we saw. It was more than awesome… I said it would be a do or die PPV. It was not a do, it was just beyond every expectation. Slammiversary XVII was not perfect (I hate perfection) but it was extraordinary. Zero title changes but that don’t matter. Tonight, we had wrestling, a load of action perfectly crafted and incredibly performed. Kudos both to the Creatives and the wrestlers for giving wrestling fans what they deserve.
Impact Wrestling chose to put the intergender match in the end. Of course, it made it the main event but it was also a way for people who didn’t want to see it not to miss the end of the show. Respect for Sami and Tessa, they gave it all. Cage finally defended his title and he did it great. Taya shrank the face of defiance and of the Undead Realm. Rich Swann was just shining. Eddie and Killer were absolutely disturbing. Moose did its best to make RVD look almost like a wrestler. As always, nice X-Division opener, everything we love. Even if I’m happy The North retained, I’m sad for Santana. He already had some knee issues two months ago, I’m afraid this time the injury won’t heal in a few weeks, but in a few months… You will be back soon, Champ… We will be waiting for you.
Suddenly, you could feel what’s next… Rhyno vs Elgin, Havok vs Su, Swann vs Mack, etc. The Road to Slammiversary XVII was epic, the PPV was even better. Once the adrenaline rush came to an end, around 5.30 AM, I was in a lot of pain but I was happy as I’ve just lived one of the best nights a wrestling fan can expect to have. So, thank you, thank you… and thank you…
Slammiversary XVII Full Results:
- TJP X-Division Open Challenge: The Mack defeated TJP, Jake Crist & Trey Miguel
- Triple Threat Match for the Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) (c) defeated LAX (Ortiz & Santana) & The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz)
- First Blood Match: Eddie Edwards defeated Killer Kross
- Singles Match: Moose defeated Rob Van Dam
- Four-Way Monsters Ball Match for the Impact Knockouts Championship match: Taya Valkyrie (c) defeated Havok, Su Yung & Rosemary
- X-Division Championship Match: Rich Swann (c) defeated Johnny Impact
- Impact World Championship Match: Brian Cage (c) defeated Michael Elgin
- Equal Intergender Match: Sami Callihan defeated Tessa Blanchard
All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag. Nygma thanks to John Dinsdale…