wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Impact Slammiversary 2018 Preview

July 22, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Impact Slammiversary Austin Aries Moose Slammiversary

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview tonight’s Impact Slammiversary 2018 event. This is the latest live PPV for the company. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. I feel that the build to Slammiversary 2018 was solid, consistent, and that for the most part (in a very positive change from past PPV builds) that things are coming together and peaking at the right time. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

 photo allie v tessa_zpsfzxibbcf.jpg

Allie vs. Tessa Blanchard: On the surface, this should be a good, quality, wrestling match; both ladies are talented, but the real question here is who will take the win. It’s not as simple as just the booking; both are in need of a win (Allie recently losing the title & Tessa taking losses to Rayne to build her up for a title shot). But again, it juts not all about the booking, the real determining factor here will be whether or not Tessa is staying around long term and locking herself into a deal with the company. In all honesty, Impact should be locking Tessa up to as long-term a deal as they can get. Despite some reported attitude issues in the past, she’s only 22 years old and shows a great amount of potential as she is already a very good in ring performer. Also, when you look at the knockouts lineup, they have some talent, but with Sienna not back yet, and both Rosemary & Diamante injured and out, locking Tessa up and giving her a PPV win here seems like the best plan to me. Allie is over and can recover easily from a loss. And they did lock her up to a long-term deal as I was completing this, so there you go. WINNER: Tessa Blanchard

 photo Dg0m5xQW4AYuwFw_zpsvr9r9zqd.jpg

Rich Swann vs. Fenix vs. Johnny Impact vs. Taiji Ishimori: This, this fucking match right here has all kinds of possibilities to be absolutely amazing. Swann has been working hard and having good matches post WWE, Fenix is an absolute joy to watch and has a long history of delivering is big time matches, Taiji Ishimori has been completely reborn as the new Bone Soldier and is working at a higher level than during his last Impact run, coming off of an absolutely awesome BOSJ tournament, and then you have Impact making his return after time off to film Survivor. This is straight up, no bullshit, an incredibly interesting match that has the potential to steal the show with ease. I hope that the company realizes this and doesn’t micromanage the shit out of it, let these four sit down, chop it up, plot, and then give then 15-minutes and a finish and let them do their thing. The winner will likely be Impact, he’s making a big return, and Ishimori & Fenix are special guests (not full time), while Swan is rumored to have a deal on the table, but hasn’t signed. WINNER: Johnny Impact

 photo 5150 slammiversary_zps7asbn4dd.jpg

5150 NON-TITLE Street Fight: Santana & Ortiz w/Konnan vs. Homicide & Hernandez w/King: At Impact Redemption 2018, Konnan was attacked/kidnapped and did not appear at the show. With LAX rocked by his absence, Eli Drake & Scott Steiner defeated LAX to win the tag team titles, which led to an LAX losing streak. Santana & Ortiz were putting on good performances, but with the distractions of Konnan being gone and “the business” suffering, the losses piled up. And then the mysterious King (Eddie Kingston) arrived to take over the business, assuring the duo that Konnan (and the missing Homicide) were fine. LAX got back on the winning side of things, and Diamante then returned but was unsure of what to make of King. But under King’s leadership, Santana & Ortiz won the titles back and then, Konnan returned. Konnan was not buying what King was selling; teasing that he knew that King was behind his abduction… and then the truth came out. On the July 5th Impact Wrestling, Konnan stated that he had proof that King took out the hit on him. King of course denied these allegations at first, claiming that he made LAX right again, and then snapped on Konnan, revealing that he did take the hit out on him and that he represented the new LAX, and that Konnan was old, done, and had to go. And then in an homage to the old “Original Midnight Express” vs. Midnight Express feud that featured Heyman & Cornette leading their groups into battle, LAX OGs Homicide & Hernandez returned and sided with King. Many seemed confused by this, but it makes sense, as King likely sold them on the fact that Konnan sold them out for the “new LAX,” and that he was going to take over and lead them back into a prime position as the real LAX. On the other side, Konnan never led Santana & Ortiz wrong, and they only fell on hard times when King took out Konnan and originally caused the issues. I have really enjoyed the LAX angle so far, in many ways; it’s felt like a grindhouse style movie, presented in small parts. Now we have to consider whether this will be just a one-off or part of a longer angle. If it’s a long-term angle, Homicide & Hernandez should win. If it’s a one-off, Konnan’s boys should take it to move onto a new feud. Right now, I have the feeling that this is being set up for a long-term storyline, due to it being non-title, Homicide & Hernandez take this one to earn them a title shot and keep this party rolling. WINNER: Homicide & Hernandez

 photo eddie vs Dreamer_zpsgdscgjxz.jpg

House of Hardcore Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Tommy Dreamer: Eddie Edwards finished his feud with Sami Callihan by nearly killing him in a fight in the woods, but during that time, he slowly fell into madness, alienating his wife and accusing her of cheating on him with friend/mentor Tommy Dreamer. Alisha then left Edwards, causing him to go even crazier, which led to a trip to House of Hardcore, where Edwards attacked Dreamer with a kendo stick and beat him until he was bloody. In my opinion, Edwards has worked really hard on his new character, and has done well, but doesn’t feel as hot as he was away from Callihan. But Back to Dreamer, Dreamer wanted to help Edwards because he sees him as a world champion, but didn’t want Edwards to become obsessed over one man like he did in his past (Raven). But Edwards is simply going insane, descending into madness, but to be fair, if Alisha was your wife and you suspected that 2008 Tommy Dreamer was laying pipe in her, you’d go insane as well. This all leads to their meeting here in a hardcore match, which not only makes sense because of Eddie’s recent action, but plays to the strengths that Dreamer has left. Again, I won’t lie, this isn’t exciting me very much. But, I will say that the stipulation is the best chance to get a good match out of Dreamer, as they will need the smoke and mirrors. I am sure that Dreamer will put up a good fight, but will likely be too hesitant to put Eddie away since “he loves him and wants to help him,” which should lead to his downfall. Edwards should win here, because at this stage, Dreamer should only be here to put people over, not winning a major PPV match at age 47. The only scenario I can see Eddie losing in is if he’s leaving, but he reportedly signed a new deal in March, so I hope that this is not the case. WINNER: Eddie Edwards

 photo Dgz2n7rX0AICio4_zpscll1dgpg.jpg

Luchas de Apuestas (Hair vs. Mask) Match: Sami Callihan vs. Pentagon Jr.: Sami Callihan survived the attempted murder at the hands of Eddie Edwards, and the two have moved on. While Eddie’s program isn’t as exciting, Sami has found himself in a war with one of the coolest motherfuckers in the business, Pentagon. Pentagon has a strong history of delivering in big matches, and I expect him o be busting his ass here to deliver once again. When it comes to Sami, he works two kinds of big time matches, they are “SAMI SPRINT”: which is Sami going balls to the wall, full of fire and going the things he does best and simply focusing on them with no fucking around, this is Sami at his very best but he doesn’t work it as much as he should. “SAMI EPIC”: which is Sami working a drawn out, methodical style that he thinks will make for a dramatic and epic style match but never does, like his recent Boiler Room Brawl with MVP, which was one of the worst matches of 2018. I am playing for Sami Sprint here, as that style will work extremely well with what Pentagon likes to do. The match should have good heat, as the crowd have hated Sami and tend to love Pentagon. Pentagon losing his mask seems unlikely and completely stupid, so Pentagon should take this and shave Sami bald, making him even crazier in the process. WINNER: Pentagon

 photo Dgz6GbQW4AAAXh-_zpstg52bbsg.jpg

Knockouts Title Match: Champion Su Yung vs. Madison Rayne: After initially failing to win the knockouts championship, Su Yung upped her level of crazy, beating Rosemary into a coffin and setting her on fire to take her out of action. This angered Allie, who despite Rosemary’s pre-death requests, tried to save her and then went for revenge against Su Yung by channeling her demo friend. Su Yung defeated Allie in a casket match to win the championship, and the undead bride became the unhinged champion. Madison Rayne made her return to Impact Wrestling but she wasn’t supposed to wrestle, she was there to do commentary. Tessa Blanchard’s unprofessional actions pulled her from the booth as the former knockouts champion wanted to teach her a lesson. This led to a match, which Rayne won. Wins over Taya and Rayne again secured Rayne a title shot at Slammiversary. But with Sienna not back yet, and both Rosemary & Diamante injured and out, and the company not wanting to immediately go back to Allie, Rayne got the shot. The push has seemingly divided the Impact fan base, as some really hate her beating Tessa twice and feel she’s getting a “Gail Kim” like push. The thing is that I don’t see it that way, I see Rayne as a challenger of convenience, here to get Yung a big win over a former multiple-time knockouts champion to solidify her reign. As long as that is the plan, and Yung wins, I like it. WINNER: Champion Su Yung

 photo sydalvcage_zpsjcoiz3hr.jpg

X-Division Title Match: Champion Matt Sydal vs. Cage: Sydal has actually held onto the X-Division title longer than I had anticipated, which isn’t a bad thing, as he’s helped stabilize the division and has been a good champion. But while he’s done a good job, his time as champion has come and gone, and he’s about to be destroyed by the new machine on the block, the swoleverine, Cage. Cage is clearly being presented in the Samoa Joe mold, destroying people, going unpinned and unsubmitted, en route to becoming an (in some people’s eyes) unconventional X-Division champion. I’m surprised that people still pigeonhole the X-Division as a cruiserweight/lightweight division because outside of the short time they fucked with the rules and such, it’s always been open to anyone, due to the “it’s not about weight limits, it’s about no limits” motto. While Sydal has been a good champion, the time is right for the change and to let Cage run wild on the division for while. Cage ruling the division should create months of fun as the build up Dezmond Xavier to finally get his revenge (which feels like the story they are telling) and be the one that unseats the machine to win the title, which should then see Cage move onto bigger things and the heavyweight division. WINNER: Cage

 photo Dg0GTPuWAAAwFKN_zpsx5st5uuj.jpg

World Title Match: Champion Austin Aries vs. Moose: Aries, much like Moose, has been stabilizing force for the company’s heavyweight division, especially after the issues with bumblefuck Patron. Some will say that the Aries loss to Pentagon contradicts that, but the title change to Pentagon gave Pentagon instant credibility, gave the company some buzz, and also set up the Aries heel turn. And as we all know, asshole Aries is the best Aries, it’s his gift. For this match, we need heel Aries, because heel Aries is smart, devious, and can believably compete against bigger guys and make it look legit. But more importantly than that, all signs point to this being Moose’s coronation as the company’s top babyface. In order to make that happen, Moose needs to look good and have a great match, and in this situation, Aries feels like the right guy for the job. But in all honesty, while Aries is the right guy for the job here, I am far from convinced with Moose as the company’s top star. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am all for the company working to create stars, and to make a big babyface star. But in my opinion, Moose doesn’t feel like the guy to me. They can call him Mr. Impact all they want, but I don’t see it. They can claim he’s the best big man in wrestling, but he’s not. Moose is a solidly over babyface that has had some good matches, but has not been delivering what I would call high-quality matches. he may work out in the long run, and Aries may be the perfect guy to deliver a great match here at Slammiversary. I have some doubts, but am hoping for the best. WINNER: Moose


– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”