Impact Wrestling has put together a pretty strong card for Sunday’s Slammiversary pay per-view. Television has been mostly solid leading up to this show. Ratings, however, have dipped after steadily increasing during the spring. Nevertheless, the company does have some positive buzz, though it remains to be seen if they can translate that into more eyeballs watching their product.
As for the lineup itself…
Austin Aries vs. Moose, Impact Wrestling Championship: I’ve been vocal in my criticism of Moose getting this spot, but I’m open to being proven wrong. The build-up has focused on Moose’s football background vs. Aries’ wrestling background. Aries’ attack of Moose’s friend DeAngelo Williams a few weeks ago on Impact has ratcheted the feud up a notch. It will be interesting to see if there’s any kind of crowd split when it comes to babyface reactions for the two men.
Su Yung vs. Madison Rayne, Knockouts Championship: It’s surprising Rayne is in this spot, given some of the other talented Knockouts on the Impact roster. Rayne has a “been there, done that” feel, but she has performed well in the vignettes and videos that have encompassed this feud. I’m okay with the supernatural aspects of Yung’s character for the most part, though I think she’s too close to Rosemary in that regard and Rosemary does it better. I’d expect some zaniness during this bout.
Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Fenix: No real storyline here, but it’ll likely be a strong match-of-the-night contender. Impact has been away from TV, as has Ishimori, and Swann has been recently introduced to the Impact audience. The international flavor in this one has been a selling point.
Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan, Mask vs. Hair Match: That’s Pentagon’s mask on the line against Sami’s hair. The result would seem academic, but there are a lot of ways the body of the match could go. Violent brawl? High-flying affair? Callihan is hot coming off of the Eddie Edwards feud. Pentagon is better known for his work outside Impact Wrestling. Though Callihan had been embroiled in his deal with Edwards, I wish this feud had a longer lead-time than it got.
Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer, House of Hardcore Match: God bless Tommy Dreamer for still getting on national television and plugging his own company in the process. The man knows how to market. Edwards had transitioned his bad blood from Callihan to Dreamer, accusing Tommy of having an affair with his wife as Eddie continues his descent into madness. This will be your standard garbage brawl for the evening, but at least it has a competent story behind it.
Matt Sydal vs. Brian Cage, X Division Championship: Ever since Sydal’s storyline with Josh Mathews was dropped, he’s been floundering a bit. Cage should be a guy Impact builds around, and while the X Division Title can be limiting in many ways, I see this as a chance for Cage to take the first step up the ladder to the top.
LAX vs. OGz, 5150 Street Fight for the Tag Team Championship: Things came to a head a few weeks ago when the returning Homicide and Hernandez, the original LAX, sided with Eddie Kingston over Konnan. Now, the two factions will do battle not only for bragging rights, but for the Tag Team Titles. I really like how this feud has developed, specifically with Konnan and King.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Allie: It’s certainly a contrast in personalities, as the mean-and-nasty Tessa faces the butterflies-and-rainbows Allie. Allie has steeled herself a little more since surviving a feud with Su Yung, so we’ll see if that trend continues.
If you’re planning on watching Slammiversary (or if you aren’t but you’re an Impact fan), join me and Mike McMahon for PWTorch Livecast Wrestling Night in America as soon as Slammiversary goes off the air. We’ll take your calls and discuss the show in-depth at pwtorchlivecast.com.
Greg Parks hosts the “Wrestling Night in America” Livecast every Sunday night on PWTorchlivecast.com. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.