SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The fans are back for Slammiversary 2021. Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee will open up to a limited number of fans on July 17, 2021, for what has become a PPV that is a “mystery box” of sorts. Last year’s Slammiversary saw some debuts and re-debuts thanks to a WWE roster purge, and it looks like we are in for another round of surprises, only this time with the added bonus of the “forbidden door” being open (AEW and NJPW working together in limited capacity). While it may be easy to get carried away (I feel safe to say Brian Danielson won’t be appearing although… a man can dream right?) a new influx of even a small handful of talent means new characters, storylines and match ups that will freshen things up and prevent staleness form setting in. This has definitely become one of my favorite Impact PPV just for speculation.
Kenny Omega (c) vs. Sami Callihan – Impact World Championship No Disqualification Match
Story in a nutshell: Ne’er do well, Sami Callihan may be Impact Wrestling’s best shot at regaining the Impact World championship from the belt collector, Kenny Omega.
After Rich Swann lost the Impact World Championship to Kenny Omega, Moose and Sami Callihan were the first two in line to challenge Omega. Don Callis, then Executive Vice President for Impact Wrestling and associate of Omega, knew that the volatility of those two men were threats to Omega so he tried to distract the two from their pursuits ultimately failing. Moose challenged Omega at Against All Odds and lost. After the match Callihan went after Omega and the Elite who had interfered in Moose’s match, but Callis used his position as EVP to fire Callihan. Later, Tommy Dreamer, acting as the spokesman for Anthem’s board of directors (Anthem owns Impact Wrestling), rescinded Callihan’s dismissal and instead fired Callis as EVP of Impact Wrestling. Still trying to protect Omega from Callihan, Callis faked an attack from Callihan to get him arrested but Callihan who is a master hacker (and has been established to be hacked into Impact’s control room) had evidence exonerating him. Then the match was made a no disqualification match.
Prediction and analysis: This should be fun. Callihan is one of my favorite characters in pro-wrestling right now. While he is not the wrestler Omega is, fact that he is a loose cannon makes him a true threat to Omega’s championship, so Don Callis’s worries have been well founded. While Callihan is a threat, I don’t think he wins. As the “belt collector” it doesn’t make sense for the first title Omega loses to be the Impact World Championship. I also don’t see a clear challenger for Omega next, so I expect and outsider to show up to be Omega’s next opponent, a (fka) Buddy Murphy or, dare I hope, former TNA wrestler Okada. Now that would be something.
Josh Alexander (c) vs. Petey Williams vs. Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju – Impact X Division Ultimate X Match
Story in a nutshell: The X Division Title is suspended from the center of two cables that are connected to metal structures at each of the four corners of the ring forming an “X’ fifteen feet in the air, and the first wrestler to get to the title is the champion.
A five-way match to determine Josh Alexander’s next opponent at Slammiversary was ruled a no contest when Ace Austin’s “heavy” Mad Man Fulton attacked all the participants of the match. It was then decided that the match for Slammiversary would be the first Ultimate X match in two years. Ace Austin with his “heavy” Madman Fulton and Rohit Raju, with his “heavy” Mahabali Shera, two heel acts, formed an alliance of convenience heading into the match. The babyface acts, Petey Williams and Trey Miguel tries to sway Chris Bey to their side against the heels. At first Bey maintained his neutral stance only to eventually side with the babyfaces (or should I say Bey-byfaces… sorry). Then came the sudden and inevitable betrayal when Bey turned on his team, sending the message that at Ultimate X it’s every man for himself.
Prediction and analysis: To start things off, “it is written on the Disks of Mishakal that evil, by its very nature, will always turn in upon itself, thus it becomes self-defeating.” (Margaret Weis/Tracy Hickman, a deep cut for the nerdiest of nerds out there). While Ace Austin and Rohit Raju will have the early advantage thanks two their two “heavies”, eventually the alliance implodes, and Fulton and Shera will take themselves out of the match. That eliminates Ace and Rohit as winners in my mind. Petey isn’t winning as he has nothing left to prove and you only go to him if you are in desperate straits with lack of worthy champions. Josh Alexander is a safe choice, and I never liked the idea of a champion losing his title in a non-elimination style multi-man match unless the champion in question is moving up the card. Both Trey and Bey can really use a definitive title run to see if they can break into the next level. Of those three, while I think Josh retains, I’m pulling for Bey. I want to see what he can do at the forefront of this division.
Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs. ??? – Impact Knockouts Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Having defeated just about everyone, Deonna Purrazzo must defend her title against a mystery opponent.
With several talent being free from the clutches of WWE mismanagement, Impact is playing on the mystery of “who” for this match. Deonna Purrazzo “fired” her entourage of Susan and Kimber Lee for being failures and claimed she was the greatest Knockout of all time. Gail Kim came out to confront Deonna and Deonna assumed Gail was going to call her shot. Gail reaffirmed her retirement but did tell her that there was someone she would need to beat first but that that person would be revealed at the PPV. When he had Deonna signed the contract for the match, Scott D’Amore teased the IIconic’s, Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green), and Mickie James.
Prediction and analysis: This has to be someone important and well known either to wrestling fans in general, or lesser known but a former TNA champion. If it is a former champion, Deonna Purrazzo wins, otherwise she loses. Former champions (that if available) can be Katarina, Angelina Love, Victoria, Awesome Kong (which ties into Gail Kim’s involvement), Taryn Terrell, or the most likely pick for me, Mickie James. Of the “outsiders” only the former Ruby Riott I can see as winning the title on her first try. There can also be a “forbidden door” situation with a whole bevy of women in AEW that can be the opponent, headlined by Thunder Rosa. Also, to keep in mind, after being unceremoniously fired for failure, Kimber Lee took “Susan” to Father James Mitchell in order to draw out the much more dangerous (competent?) “Su Yung” persona. Things went awry and Susan overpowered Father James Mitchell and instead it seems like Kimber was the victim of… something… so a repackaged Kimber Lee can be in the cards.
Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz vs. Havok & Rosemary – Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: After defeating nearly all opponent, Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz braggadocio drew Rosemary attention and now Rosemary and her nemesis Havok have decided to team up to take out the blustery… well I wanted to make an alliteration but only one word comes to mind.
After having a confrontation with Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz, Rosemary and Havok officially challenged the Knockouts Tag Team Champions. Hogan and Steelz tried to avoid the match by pointing out the fact that Rosemary and Havok hadn’t earned a title shot so Rosemary and Havok defeated Kimber Lee and Susan in a number one contender match (leading to the aforementioned issues with that team).
Prediction and analysis: This is the biggest threat to Hogan and Steelz to date and they’ve been fantastic champions. It’s one of those case where the belt makes them, and they make the belt. I’d like to see how they’d do without the titles and Rosemary and Havok are a strong enough team to take the belts away. Then there is always the team formerly known as the IIconics out there and if they do come in, I’m sure it would be as heels.
Violent By Design (two of Eric Young, Deaner, Joe Doering, or Rhino) vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Fallah Bahh & TBD vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson – Impact World Tag Team Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Violent by Design interfered in a de facto number one contender’s match between the teams of Rich Swann & Willie Mack and TJP & Fallah Bahh, and then the Good Brothers, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson called their shot too.
The two former tag teams of Rich Swann and Willie Mack and TJP and Fallah Bah reunited after Rich and TJP had their singles run as champions (while Fallah became a gambling addict and Willie became a doormat for any tough wrestler seeking to make a name for himself) and made their intentions of going after the tag team titles. They agreed to a friendly match to determine who was the most deserving team, but the match was interrupted by a Violent by Design attack. Now personal, both teams challenged VBD, but the Good Brothers, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson decided to get involved too. TJP became TBD when he was pulled from the match for unspecified reasons.
Prediction and analysis: I don’t know what is going on with TJP and this could (hopefully) be a case of a work to open up a spot for a “ronin” wrestler to show up in his place. With Rhino’s involvement, I’m thinking of Heath (although he did not have his surgery until March this year, but this is wrestling so…) and this could be a spot for a Tucker of Murphy or talent from New Japan. In any case, I think Violent by Design, regardless of the permutation they use for the match, win.
Chris Sabin vs. Moose
Story in a nutshell: Chris Sabin is fed up with Moose’s continuing rampage (let me use that word before the becomes “R’ officially becomes capitalized by AEW) and wants revenge for Moose injuring James Storm’s ankle.
On his way to his match with Kenny Omega, Moose injured James Storm who was partnering up with Chris Sabin at the time. Sabin pretty much had to place his animosity towards Moose on the back burner forming and unlikely alliance on occasion with Moose as Moose went after Omega and his group. Things finally reached a boiling point and now they face each other.
Prediction and analysis: I can see a James Storm cameo/return to turn the tides in Sabin’s favor otherwise Moose wins.
Eddie Edwards vs. W. Morrissey
Story in a nutshell: Eddie Edwards seeks revenge after W. Morrissey attacked him to make a point to Satoshi Kojima that friends in wrestling will always let you down.
W. Morrissey really need more My Little Pony in his life. Drawing from real life, Morrissey has been on a quest to show that “friendship” in wrestling is a fickle thing and unreliable. His most recent target was the friendship between Satoshi Kojima and Eddie Edwards. Before Kojima returned to Japan, Edwards wanted to wrestle him in a friendly match. Before the match, Morrissey revealed that he had taken out Edwards in the parking lot and no “friend” came to save him. Now Edwards wants revenge.
Prediction and analysis: The theme of friendship makes me think that we may be getting some sort of Davey Richards involvement. As long as it isn’t Enzo (please God). I think Eddie wins this one with help.
Matt Cardona & ??? (totally gonna be Chelsea Green aka Laurel Van Ness) vs. Brian Meyers & Tennille Dashwood
Story in a nutshell: A feud WWE-ish in length between Matt Cardona and Brian Myers has added a wrinkle by getting Tennille Dashwood involved.
There isn’t much new to this feud, Brian Myers has been jealous and/or threatened by Matt Cardona a so has targeted him in the past. In response Matt has been there to counter Myers’s plots, most recently a feud between Myers and Joke Somebody. Myers drew Tenille Dashwood into the feud so Scott D’Amore told Matt to find a female tag partner (Chelsea Green) for Slammiversary.
Prediction and analysis: Matt and his mystery partner (Chelsea Green) win.