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411’s Impact Slammiversary 2020 Preview

July 18, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Impact Slammiversary

Hello wrestling fans! Welcome to 411’s Impact Slammiversary preview. I’m Jeremy, and we’re going to take a look at this weekend’s PPV that airs tonight on FITE TV. The show will feature a four-way dance for the vacant Impact World Championship featuring Trey Miguel, Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin and a much-hyped mystery man, Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Championship, and more. Everyone feel free to chime in with your picks in the comment section. Impact has had to make a lot of changes due to recent events but they have a pretty solid card set, so let’s get right to it.

The Rascalz’ Open Challenge

This open challenge was announced on Thursday following this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling. While there’s a possibility that this could be Madman Fulton and a tag team partner based on what happened with Wentz and Trey attacking Fulton and Ace Austin this week, the smart money has to be on two of the new debuting members. Of course, it could be Fulton and a new singles guy, but that singles guy would then likely be positioned as a subordinate to Ace Austin and I’m not sure that’s what’s likely planned. More than likely this is a debuting tag team, and the likely candidates would be Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The Rascalz are fun but they should lose in pretty quick fashion if they are facing Gallows and Anderson. And even if it’s another new tag team or Fulton and someone else, the Rascalz aren’t the ones who will benefit most from the win. This should be a fun match, but probably won’t be a very long one.

WINNER: Not The Rascalz

#1 Contender Knockouts Gauntlet Match
Rosemary vs. Nevaeh vs. Susie vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Taya Valkyrie vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Alisha Edwards vs. Kylie Rae vs. Kimber Lee vs. Madison Rayne vs. Havok

Gauntlet Matches always have the potential for some interesting stories to play out, and there are a number of alliances and rivalries here that can easily come into play. Does Susie revert to her Su Yung persona at some point, perhaps turning on Kylie Rae? How do Nevaeh and Havok fare against Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz? Does John E. Bravo end up having to choose between Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie? Madison Rayne, Kimber Lee, and Alisha Edwards…are also in this match. I am a big fan of Impact’s Knockouts division, and this match should have some varying levels of in-ring quality while hopefully paying off some of what’s been set up over the last several weeks. Ultimately the winner here has to be dependant on — or rather, should be a good indicator — of who wins the Knockouts Championship match. I don’t see any of the storylines coming to a conclusion here, so that leads us to question whose storyline benefits the most from being advanced to a championship match level? While I could see Rayne winning the match so that all the storylines can progress on their own, my money is on Taya pulling off the win so that her arc with Rosemary and John E. can be an X-factor in her Knockouts Championship match.

WINNER: Taya Valkyrie

Impact X-Division Championship Match
Willie Mack vs. Chris Bey

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This certainly has the potential to be a show stealer. Bey and Mack are both incredibly talented, and Impact has done a pretty solid job of building the feud while keeping them from directly facing off for the most part. Mack has been a strong X-Division champion and still has a lot of mileage left in his title reign, while Bey has been entertaining in his team with Johnny Swinger. Swinger was banned from ringside until he managed to get that restriction lifted on this week’s Impact, only to tell Bey he’s still banned after he overheard the challenger saying he’s just been using Swinger. That puts things on a more even keel and while Swinger could change his mind in the end and come out to help Bey, I think it’s more likely that he stays away or distracts Bey as revenge, giving Mack the win. Either way, I don’t see a reason for a title change here.

WINNER: Willie Mack (Still Impact X-Division Champion)

Impact Tag Team Championship Match
The North vs. Ken Shamrock & Sami Callihan

The North have been Impact Tag Team Champions for a record 373 days, having won the titles at Bash at the Brewery last year. During that time, they’ve have been entertaining on the whole and had a pretty strong run, sending LAX packing from Impact among other things. They’re facing the classic “Unlikely Partners”-style team in Shamrock and Callihan, who have feuded memorably in Impact. While one could argue there’s still a fair amount of mileage that could be pulled from The North as champions, I think you have to look at why Shamrock and Callihan are in this match and where they would go following a loss. Impact seems to want to keep the two in a storyline together, and going back to a direct feud between them is tapping a dry well. On the other hand, giving them the “Tag Team Champions that dislike each other” arc gives a way to freshen up their rivalry. Shamrock is clearly past the point where he’s at the top of his game in the ring, but I have faith in everyone else involved here to make this an enjoyable, if not great, match. The title switch makes the most sense here, so that’s what I’m predicting.

WINNER: Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan (New Impact Tag Team Champions)

TNA World Championship Old School Rules Match
Moose vs. Tommy Dreamer

This match was set up when Moose, who continues to call himself the TNA World Champion even though Impact doesn’t “officially” recognize the title, viciously assaulted Crazzy Steve after a “title defense” and when Tommy Dreamer came down with other officials to break it up, Moose attacked Tommy. That led to the ECW legend cutting an impassioned promo against Moose, which in turn led to a slander threat from Moose and eventually into this match being booked. Dreamer has been doing great on the promos and Moose has been gold with this storyline, making the build here very entertaining. That said, I don’t have the greatest expectations for this match to say the least. I love Tommy Dreamer as much as any old-school ECW fan, but he’s not at the top of his game. And Moose is a solid power wrestler, but I don’t know how well these two guys are going to work together. The Old School Rules stipulation will work in their favor; ultimately, there’s no reason this shouldn’t be a dominant win for Moose to continue establishing his story arc with the TNA Title.

WINNER: Moose (Still TNA World Champion)

Impact Knockouts Championship Match
Jordynne Grace vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Jordynne Grace has been leading the Knockouts division quite well as champion since she defeated Taya Valkyrie in February. She’s great in the ring, good on the mic and has everything Impact needs in a star. Meanwhile, Deonna Purrazzo is coming into the company poised to make a splash right away. I’m honestly not a big fan of Impact booking this match so soon, because it puts them in a difficult position. Do they have Purrazzo lose right off the bat, hurting her potential as a top Knockouts star? Or do they put her over Grace, sending the message that a released NXT roster member can beat their top woman and reinforcing the old idea that TNA/Impact lives on former WWE talent? I could honestly go either way with how this match plays out, and it’ll be all about the execution. Purrazzo can lose in a way that keeps her strong, and so could Grace. It’s just on Impact to find the right answer. Both women are talented and motivated to deliver here, and the story of Grace wanting to get her hands on Deonna has been doled out well over the last few weeks. In the end, I think Grace retaining is the most likely answer, perhaps in a way that continues the feud.

WINNER: Jordynne Grace (Still Impact Knockouts Champion)

Impact World Championship Match
Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel vs. Eddie Edwards vs. TBD

The Impact World Championship match has been a rough point for Impact, who had to change the lineup of competitors due to Tessa Blanchard and Michael Elgin’s exit from a five-person match to three people plus a mystery opponent. That said, Impact has done a commendable job of keeping the momentum going here thanks to the Trey vs. Austin feud and the addition of Madman Fulton as Austin’s enforcer. Of course, there’s a lot of question over who the mystery man is. Is it EC3, Bully Ray, Heath Miller (Slater), Eric Young, or someone else? While I fully expect Heath to appear at the show, I don’t think he’s the guy that Impact has been promoting for the World Title match as he is obviously not a “former World champion.” EC3 or Young seem to be the most likely choice, probably coming in with Gallows and Anderson. While my hope is that Impact uses this to solidify someone like Austin in the main event, it’s difficult to bet against the incoming talent. As much as Impact has built it up, if he comes in and loses then it ends up falling flat. All three announced men can really go in the ring, and the potential fourth men are all talented in different ways, so I have high hopes here. In the end though, I expect we’ll have a new champion who wasn’t officially part of Impact before now.

WINNER: TBD (New Impact World Champion)

And that’s all we have for Slammiversary! Impact has been killing it as of late, navigating some rocks thrown in their path to deliver on a weekly basis and hopefully they can keep that momentum going. There’s a lot of potential and intrigue going on with the card here, though there are also plenty of potential pitfalls for Impact to fall into. I’m hopeful that they can navigate it all effectively, but whatever the case the matches themselves should still be pretty enjoyable.

Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of Slammiversary right here on 411mania.com. Time for me to go…