The year 2022 has been a strong in-ring year for the Impact Wrestling brand. Their star power has been undeniably enhanced by the crossover between some Ring of Honor (ROH) and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) talent, who have shown up either in a one-off capacity or to get involved in ongoing storylines.
This past Sunday, Impact Wrestling celebrated 20 years in the wrestling business with their second-biggest Pay Per View of the year in Slammiversary. The event had been promoted on weekly broadcasts throughout the entire year and was billed as a mesh between current storylines and nostalgia, as the lineup boasted returning ‘Impact originals’. This did upset some fans online (not the IWC, surely not?!) as some current storylines were put on hold to accommodate wrestlers returning for one night only. Only a week before the event, it was surprising to see that half of the tickets for the event (704 tickets in total for the Nashville Showgrounds) remained unsold. This has been an issue for Impact for a long time, as they stuck to small arenas in less-known cities and often taped.
A little bit about me first. My name is Kristian Thompson and I’m from Australia. I’m a teacher that also has a journalism degree as well as a love of pro wrestling. I asked John Canton for a shot to review Impact Wrestling for this awesome website. I modeled my review after his style, as I find it really easy to read and effective. I thought a PPV review could show off my knowledge and interest in the product. Having watched wrestling since 2001, I hope it shows that I have a keen passion for the business and the knowledge to go with it. Some of the matches were hard to write about, as they had a few multi-person matches but I did my best and am happy to have written it as I watched. Let’s get to the action.
Impact Wrestling presents ‘Slammiversary’: Sunday June 19th at Nashville Showgrounds, Nashville TN.
Tom Hannifan (Phillips in WWE) welcomed fans to the show as he put the show over as a night where Impact celebrated 20 years in the wrestling industry. He was joined on commentary as usual by Matthew Rehwoldt (Aiden English in WWE).
Tonight, a very special evening, it’s an evening that revolves around history and history on so many fronts.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
Match #1: Ultimate X for the X-Division Championship: Ace Austin (c) vs Andrew Everett vs Trey Miguel vs Kenny King vs Alex Zayn vs Mike Bailey
We kick off the night in true Impact style with the match they made famous: Ultimate X. To win the match and the championship, a wrestler must retrieve the belt from the ropes overhead that are intertwined in an X shape. Jack Evans was not medically cleared to compete so he has been replaced by Andrew Everett. The commentators put over Kenny King as a favourite for the match, as he is competing in his 5th Ultimate X match; more than anyone else in the contest.
The match started out with an expectedly quick pace, Bailey and Zane on the offensive as they sent Everett and King to the outside as they looked to quickly climb to the belt. Bailey with a moonsault from the inside of the ring, taking out Everett. Not to be outdone, Zayn performed his own moonsault to the outside, taking out King and Miguel. At this point, everyone was outside of the ring. Zayn and Bailey made their way back inside the ring, as they start climbing towards the belt. They were again intercepted by King and Miguel, King then takes out Miguel with a spinning kick which turns Trey inside out! King then hits a big spinebuster on Zayn as he takes control of the match up. King tried to hit the Royal Flush but Miguel reversed into a hurricanrana and sends King to the outside. Ace Austin snuck back into the ring but is met by Miguel who pulls him down from the top rope. Everett comes back into the ring but his hit by a knee from Austin. Austin takes out Miguel and Bailey with a running diving moonsault over the top rope to the outside! Great athleticism on display in this match so far. Austin poses to the crowd and hits Zayn with a running kick. He then kips up on the apron, dodges a Zayn attack and hits a superkick on Zayn. Austin is on fire as he dodges Bailey’s strikes and takes him down with a superkick. Miguel arrives on the scene and hits a brutal neckbreaker on Austin, on the ring apron. Everyone is down on the floor as Everett slowly gets back into the ring. He runs at Miguel into the corner, leapfrogs over the rope and hits Miguel with a German Suplex on the ring apron. Everett with a twisting plancha, as he takes out everyone in the match on the floor. Everett, Bailey and Zayn square off in the ring now. After a few counters, Zayn hits a release German Suplex on Bailey that sends him splashing into Everett. Miguel climbs the corner rope but is taken down by Zayn. King and Zayn performed a Blockbuster/Powerbomb combo on Miguel from the top rope. Ouch! It’s Zayn, King and Austin back in the ring, until Bailey climbs to the top and begins to scale the rope. He decides against going for the championship and goes crashing into the three men already in the ring, taking them out. It’s chaos in the ring, as all the men perform a powerbomb/suplex maneuver that you see in every multi-man match now. Miguel holds on and nails Zayn with a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope! The crowd started a “Holy $hit” chant as all competitors were down and in pain. Miguel, King and Austin all exchanged strikes as the match tempo sped up again. Miguel climbed the ropes again, as King and Austin followed suit in opposite corners. They were joined by Bailey in the fourth corner. All four men were scrapping above the ring, Bailey knocked King off with a kick then Austin hit a low blow on Miguel. Austin and Bailey hung upside down as they tried to retrieve the championship. Austin had one hand on his championship but was met by chops from Bailey, as they hung upside down above the ring. Everett made his way to the top and sat on top of the championship as he tried to steal it. Bailey sent Everett crashing back first to the mat with an incredible hurricanrana from the top of the X. It’s back to Austin vs Bailey until Zayn made his way back into the contest. He was kicked down by Austin who was distracted. Bailey kicked off a preoccupied Austin to undo the belt and win the championship after 10:20.
Winner and NEW X-Division Champion: Mike Bailey
Analysis: *** A deserved win for the very likeable babyface in Bailey who always shows plenty of fire and athleticism in his matches. It was a chaotic match and difficult to follow all of the action, but the timing of the match seemed pretty spot-on to hype the crowd and set the night out on a positive note. There were a few high spots but not as many as you might be accustomed to seeing in an Ultimate-X match. That could be down to the competitors not being too familiar with each other. The quality of Ace Austin shone throughout the match up. With due respect, he is too big of a star to be stuck in the X-Division so hopefully this allows him to have a good singles run against higher-profile opponents. It was a fun way to start the show in typical Impact fashion, with their signature match.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
Hannifan and Rehwoldt talked about the history of Impact wrestling and how history would also be made this evening. They paid respect to Bob Ryder, an influential employee behind the scenes of Impact, who passed in 2020. They then introduced the French broadcast team before running through some of the matches coming up in the show.
The Impact Originals were interviewed backstage before their 10-man tag match with Honor No More later in the show. They are still one man short. Alex Shelley put over his tag team, the Motor City Machine Guns, along with a host of great Impact tag teams, but he said that’s not what tonight is about. Chris Sabin said tonight isn’t just a celebration. It’s about defending the company. He listed some of Honor No More’s victims. Frankie Kazarian said it’s time to fight. Nick Aldis said his team doesn’t make sense looking at them with the naked eye. But they all have one thing in common- they love this business and could make their mark because of Impact Wrestling. No one would spill the beans on who the 5th member would be, which kept the fans in suspense until the match begins.
There was a pre-recorded promo by Sting who put over his time in (TNA) Impact Wrestling. There were highlights of Sting’s championship wins and his matches with Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, Samoa Joe and others.
Match #2: Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Tag Team Championship: The Influence (c) (Madison Rayne and Tenille Dashwood) vs Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie
The face team of Rosemary and Valkyrie made their way out separately. Valkyrie was back in Impact after promoting NWA this past weekend, putting over Natalia Markova. This match was thrown during the go-home show of Impact. The Influence have not featured much since the IInspiration left earlier in the year. They have held the championships for 106 days.
Valkyrie and Rayne started the match. Valkyrie used her strength advantage to take down Rayne. They locked up again and Valkyrie took down Rayne with a clothesline for a one count. Rosemary tagged in with a fury of strikes and then started biting Rayne! There was tension on the face team as Valkyrie called for a tag, so Rayne snuck out and tagged in my fellow Aussie Tenille Dashwood. Rosemary dragged Dashwood into the corner and tagged in Valkyrie. Valkyrie with a hard chop in the corner to Dashwood before whipping her again into the corner. Tag in again to Rosemary and Valkyrie ran the ropes then hit a sliding German Suplex on Dashwood who was hung up in the second rope. The Influence took Rosemary to the outside as Rayne ran her into the ring apron. The heels started to take control of the match as Dashwood stomped away on Rosemary. The fans chanted for Rosemary but Dashwood nailed her with a vertical Suplex for a two count. Dashwood with a reverse chinlock and slammed Rosemary into the corner. Tag in to Rayne who choked Rosemary, utilising her 5 count. Dashwood tags back in and gets a quick two count. The heels are cleverly isolating Rosemary on their side of the ring. Rosemary makes her comeback with a back Suplex to Dashwood and reaches out to tag Valkyrie. Dashwood also makes the tag to Rayne. Valkyrie is cleaning house and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb on Rayne for a close two-count. Valkyrie backs into her corner and tags Rosemary back in. She hits an Exploder Suplex on Rayne before measuring her for a spear, but is cut down by Dashwood. Valkyrie breaks up the two count before all four women square off in their respective corners. Rayne and Dashwood try an Irish Whip but it gets reversed and they crash into each other in the middle of the ring. There’s a double spear by the face team and a very close double two count. Valkyrie kicks Dashwood to the outside as the faces look to perform a double team move. Poke to the eye by Rayne on Rosemary, then she gets shoved in to Valkyrie. Dashwood hits a neckbreaker on Valkyrie through the middle rope. The Influence hit their double team finisher the Collab on Rosemary. Valkyrie comes back in for the save as Rosemary sits up Undertaker-style. Rosemary hits a front-facing sit out jaw breaker for the three-count and championships after 7:58.
Winners and NEW Impact Knockouts World Tag Team Champions: Taya Valkyrie and Rosemary
Analysis *** It was a fast-paced and entertaining match that featured good ring psychology. There were frequent tags on both sides which kept the match flowing well and only one real ‘face-in-peril’ moment which made the match not as predictable as regular tag matches. It was time for a change in champions as the Influence haven’t been featured a great deal lately. Valkerie and Rosemary are both popular Knockouts and their run should be enjoyable.
There was a pre-recorded promo from the former Impact champion and Hall of Famer Kurt Angle who put over Impact Wrestling and his biggest rivalries from his time in the company.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
Sami Callihan and Moose were shown backstage, as they have been apparently locked up in separate rooms in the dark for 24 hours as they await their Monster’s Ball clash. They show a preview of the match, including Moose taking out Callihan about 10 months ago. This led to Callihan seeking revenge when he showed up at Under Siege one month ago.
Match #3: Monster’s Ball: Moose vs Sami Callihan
This is a fancy name for a No-DQ match. Pinfalls and submissions must occur inside the ring. Both wrestlers were removed from their solitary confinement and made their entrances, first Moose then Callihan. Moose is the heel who had a long run as champion over the last year, whilst Callihan is the face in this rivalry. It’s his first match since September. This match suits his style a lot better but Moose can be quite a good brawler so he won’t be out of place. It will be violent, that’s for sure.
Callihan interrupts Moose on the stage and the fight is on. Callihan with headbutts to Moose on the ramp and both men exchange strikes. Callihan brings the weapons from underneath the ring and slams Moose with a garbage can followed by seven baking tray shots to the head. Callihan plays to the crowd so Moose takes the opportunity and nails Callihan in the head with a trash can lid. Moose is already busted open. Moose takes some food from a fan at ringside then steals her water and cools himself off. Callihan is also busted open as Moose wipes his blood on his pants. Moose hits a Uranage on Callihan on the ring apron. Moose drags Callihan to his feet and hits another Uranage to Callihan on the apron as Hannigan tells us that this is the 54th Monster’s Ball. Moose goes for another Uranage on the apron but changes his mind and slams Callihan through a table at ringside with another Uranage. Moose throws two chairs in the ring as Callihan slides back in. Moose puts one chair on the ankle of Callihan and tries to smash his ankle with another chair, but Sami moves out of the way and nails Moose with a chair shot to the head. Moose returns the favour by throwing a chair into Sami’s head. Moose goes for the spear but Callihan protects himself with a trash can which Moose ends up in after missing the spear. Callihan smashes the trash can with chair shots then turns Moose upside down as he flails helplessly in the trash can. Callihan goes back to the outside and brings in a door with barbed wire. Moose wriggles out of the trash can and grabs a steel chair. Callihan sets up the door in the corner and Moose stops himself before going through it. Moose goes for a top rope moonsault but slips, he recovers his balance but Callihan runs to the top and tosses Moose off the top turnbuckle through the timekeeper’s table at ringside! The commentators put over how personal this is for Sami and how he is going to a dark place in order to put Moose through as much pain as possible. He tips out a bag of thumbtacks in the middle of the ring. Callihan climbs to the top and is looking for a top-rope DDT but Moose counters into a Sky High onto the tacks! Callihan kicks out at two. Moose is measuring Sami for the spear through the barb wire door but Sami reverses it into a Death Valley Driver through the door! 1, 2, no! A close near fall there. Callihan grabs two trash can lids and has a sick smile on his face as he smashes Moose’s head with the lid. Moose retaliates with a shot of his own. Both men take each other out at the same time with trash can lid shots to the head. Both men got to their feet. They exchanged punches before Moose hit a pump kick. Callihan landed hard on the tacks. Callihan clothesline Moose who lands back first on the tacks then hits his Cactus Driver 97 piledriver onto the tacks for a very close two count. Sami is calling for the end now and pulls Moose to his feet. He is looking for another piledriver but Moose hits a low blow. Moose sets up a trash can. He climbs to the top rope to Superplex Sami onto it. Sami counters and powerbombs Moose onto the trash can! That looked painful. Cactus Driver 97 onto the tacks for a second time but Moose kicks out Hulk Hogan-style. Callihan takes the barb-wired bat and smashes Moose in the ribs. Cactus Driver 97 for a third time and Callihan wins it after 14:45.
Winner by pinfall: Sami Callihan
Analysis ***1/2 An entertaining brawl here where the right man went over. It was pretty much 15 minutes of weapons but they used some creative spots to keep it fresh. Callihan needed the win here to establish himself back in the main event picture and Moose won’t be too hurt by the loss and he wasn’t in his element in this match type.
They showed a hype video for the Tag Team Championship match between the Good Brothers and the Briscoes. The Briscoes defeated Violent by Design at Under Siege last month.
Match #4: Impact World Tag Team Championships: Mark and Jay Briscoe (c) vs The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows)
The Good Brothers make their way to the ring first as the challengers. They have been everywhere lately with Anderson winning the IWGP Never Openweight Championship over Tama Tonga at NJPW Dominion last weekend, and Gallows competing in singles action there too. The Briscoes made their way to the ring last as the popular face champions. Hannifan mentioned that Mark Briscoe welcomed his 7th child this past week. This rivalry goes back a couple of months where the Briscoes lost their ROH Tag titles to FTR and then lost to the Good Brothers in the same weekend. The story has been about the Briscoes earning the Good Brothers respecting by beating them here tonight. The match starts with a brawl inside the ring. Jay clotheslines Gallows over the top and then the Briscoes take out Anderson with a double clothesline. Both Briscoes run the ropes and take out their opponents with tope suicidas. Gallows and Mark square off at ringside, whilst Jay slams Anderson hard on the stage. The match still hasn’t officially started as the brawl continues. Jay takes advantage of the referee checking on Anderson to smash a chair off the head of Gallows. Mark sets up the chair inside the ring and dives off it over the top rope to take out the Good Brothers. Jay Briscoe finally takes a corner and the match is underway. Mark Briscoe with a drop kick followed up by a quick tag to his brother Jay. Anderson takes control and tosses Jay into the chair set up in the corner, as the referee is distracted by Gallows. Gallows tags in and strikes Jay hard in the ribs. Another quick tag out to Anderson but Jay counters with a neckbreaker. Gallows and Mark Briscoe tag in. Gallows whips him into the corner but he jumps over the top rope, nailing Gallows with an axe handle. Mark nails Anderson with a flipping sit out powerbomb for a two-count. Anderson is down as Mark climbs to the top. Anderson recovers quickly, playing possum, and meets him on the top rope. They climb down and Anderson hits a spinebuster for a two-count. Those two square off with strikes in the middle of the ring and Anderson gets the advantage with an uppercut. Mark shoots Anderson into the corner and Jay charges into the ring and nails Anderson with a clothesline in the corner. Mark takes out Gallows in the corner, then the Briscoes double team Anderson with a neckbreaker for two. The Briscoes looked for a Doomsday Device but Anderson raked the eyes of Jay. Gallows threw Mark off the top into a Gun Stun from Anderson. The Good Brothers turned their attention to Jay Briscoe. Jay tried to fight them off but Gallows wiped him out with a huge kick to the head. Good Brothers with the Magic Killer for the three count as Mark Briscoe failed to make the save at 9:50.
Winners and NEW Impact World Tag Team Champions: The Good Brothers
Analysis ***1/2 This was another well-worked match that didn’t quite hit the ten minute mark. There were no restholds or low spots in the match which kept the crowd entertained for the entirety. The Briscoes are very entertaining when they are on offensive and I’m disappointed that their reign ended rather abruptly. Another five minutes and this could’ve been a 4-star match.
Post-match it looked like the Briscoes were about to shake hands with the Good Brothers when America’s Most Wanted’s music hit. James Storm and Chris Harris made their way to the ring with a six-pack of beer (of course!). Storm had a brief run in NXT and has appeared in a few matches in Impact over the last year or so. Storm got on the mic and said they couldn’t sit in the back whilst four other guys who only know drinking and fighting were in the ring. Storm handed everyone a beer except Harris who has had some DUI trouble in the past. Storm put over Impact’s history.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
There was a video celebrating Impact’s most well-known commentary duo, Mike Tenay and Don West. West has had some recent health troubles recently so hopefully he recovers soon. There was a great clip of Angle putting West in the ankle lock on the floor. I preferred Don Callis over those two but they held the commentary booth down for a long time.
There was a preview for the ten-man tag team match between the Impact Originals and Honor No More. Honor No More debuted in Impact Wrestling when Ring of Honor went on a break. They had to win a match to become members of the roster and did so when Eddie Edwards turned heel and screwed Team Impact. They have been feuding with the Impact locker room, then moved on to the Bullet Club and now the Impact Originals.
Match #5: 10 Man-Tag Match: Honor No More (HNM): PCO, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Eddie Edwards and Vincent w/ Maria Kannelis v the Impact Originals: Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Nick Aldis, Frankie Kazarian and ???
Christy Hemme was the guest ring announcer for this match and introduced Executive Director of Impact/ Coach of the Impact Originals, Scott D’Amore. D’Amore was on commentary for this match but his microphone wasn’t working initially. He is the authority figure in Impact who yells and sweats a lot.
HNM made their entrance together as the heel team. The Impact Originals made their entrances separately. It was good to see Kazarian in an important match as he doesn’t get much TV time anymore on AEW. The Motor City Machine Guns were up next. Sabin is pretty much full-time in Impact whilst Shelley is there every so often. Aldis is with the NWA and featured in the main event of their PPV last Sunday. We were awaiting the 5th member of their team when Dixie Carter, former owner of TNA/Impact, made her way out to thank the fans. I remember fondly Bully Ray putting her through a table. She welcomed the 5th member of the team, Davey Richards! Richards was part of the Wolves tag team with Eddie Edwards so it will be interesting when they clash.
Both teams square off in the middle with a wild brawl. It’s the MCMG vs the Kingdom (Bennett and Tavern) facing off and Bennett suplexes Sabin hard down to the mat. They will be the first two legal men it seems. Sabin responds with a Suplex of his own before tagging in Aldis. Bennett with a thumb to the eye before chopping Aldis a few times. He runs the ropes before being caught by Aldis who suplexes him. Kazarian and Vincent tag in with Kazarian getting the upper hand. Russian leg sweep and two count by Frankie. Vincent backs Kazarian back into the corner and tags in Edwards. Kazarian wriggles free and tags in Davey Richards and the crowd are eager to see this. Edwards cowers away and tags Tavern in. Tavern gets double teamed (really 4 on 1) by the MCMG, Kazarian and Richards and takes a double drop kick. Bennett comes in to help Tavern but gets taken out by a running kick by Richards, lighting up the chest of Bennett. The face team is on top early as Maria Kanellis yells at her troops. Tavern gets whipped in to the corner with Aldis clotheslining him hard. HNM then storm the ring and play the numbers game. Alex Shelley is now the legal man with Vincent who hits a high back Suplex for a one count as Sabin breaks it up. Sabin takes a back Suplex from Vincent who backs Shelley into the corner, tagging in Bennett. Bennett whips Shelley into a drop kick from Tavern for a two count. Double team by the Kingdom into a spinebuster/ Moonsault combo on Shelley for another two count. Kazarian breaks this up and Tavern tags in Edwards. Edwards with headbutts on Shelley and cheap shot to Sabin. The commentators are putting over Edwards being scared of Richards. PCO tags in for the first time and attempts a senton on Shelley on the ring apron but crashed and burned. HNM then gang up on Shelley who sends the Kingdom over the top rope before performing a double sliced bread #2 on Edwards and Vincent. Shelley desperately needs to make the tag and rolls to the corner to tag in Kazarian. Kazarian takes out Vincent with a flying forearm then a clothesline on Taven. He launches Vincent from the outside to the inside of the ring with a slingshot cutter for two. PCO and Vincent try to double team Kazarian but he tags in Aldis who cleans house with clotheslines. Aldis with a back drop on Vincent but PCO grabs Aldi around the neck, looking for a chokeslam. Aldis fights out and has the cloverleaf locked in but Tavern hits a springboard enziguri to save PCO. Shelley with a flatliner in the corner to Tavern, Vincent with a drop kick from the top on Kazarian and Edwards gets taken out with a series of double team moves from the MCMG. The pace of the match is rapid at this stage. Tavern dives over the top rope and takes out most of the Impact team as Edwards applauds. Edwards turns around is confronted by Davey Richards. The two former tag team partners talk trash and exchange kicks. Richards gets the upper hand in the corner and hits a dragon screw off the ropes. Richards to the top rope and goes for the double stomp but Edwards rolls out of the way. Richards rolls through with a leg lock and Tavern comes in to save him but gets trapped in a leg lock too! Shelley has Bennett in the Motor City Stretch and Aldis has Vincent in the Cloverleaf. It’s Submission City! Eventually, PCO breaks up Aldis’ submission and clotheslines him in the corner, followed by a DDT. Tavern with a huge Frog Splash on Aldis, then Vincent hits a Senton for two. PCO goes back to the top for his PCOsault but Aldis moves out of the way. Sabin and Shelley collect him with drop kicks in the corner. Sabin drags PCO to the face corner and Richards hits the double stomp on PCO for a two count. Richards tags in Sabin but Maria is up on the apron with the distraction. Tracey Brooks, an original Knockout, takes out Maria! PCO drags Tracey in the ring for a powerbomb but is thankfully saved by Kazarian. PCO up to the top rope again but Kazarian stops him in his tracks and hits a Flux Capacitor but didn’t quite nail it. Kenny King then came in for interference but is collected by Impact official D’Lo Brown who hits a huge Sky High. Earl Hebner is randomly shown at ringside. D’Lo goes to the top and hits a huge Frogsplash on King. PCO is at the mercy of Shelley and Sabin, who are teeing off with super kicks. PCO is saved by the Kingdom who also eat some superkicks. Kazarian with the Wave of the Future on Bennett, Shelley hits Tavern with Shell Shocked and Sabin hits PCO with a DVD. Earl Hebner then gets in the ring and takes off his shirt to reveal a referee shirt. I must’ve missed the ref bump in all the chaos, but Hebner counts the three and the Impact Originals pick up the win after 19:40.
Winners: Impact Originals
Analysis: ***3/4 A chaotic, fun brawl that had a feel-good moment on a night of celebration for Impact Wrestling. Like most of the matches so far, this was fast-paced and wild, with everyone given plenty of time to showcase their move sets. PCO had about as much success as Ric Flair from the top rope tonight. It borrowed from the AEW refereeing style of tag team matches (no rules) for a good portion of the match but that added to the enjoyment of it. I would like to see Davey Richards back on a regular basis in Impact.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
The next pre-recorded promo was from AJ Styles, one of the greatest wrestlers in Impact’s history. He talked about his first match in Impact and listed some of his other achievements and rivals. Styles thanked the fans and said he wouldn’t be as phenomenal without Impact Wrestling. They have done these video packages well this evening.
Next up was the first ever Queen of the Mountain match for the Knockouts Championship. The five competitors in the match start out as “ineligible” to win. In order to become “eligible”, a wrestler must score a pinfall or submission on an opponent. The opponent who submits or is pinned is forced to spend two minutes in the “penalty box” cage. Once eligible, they must climb the ladder to hang the championship.
Mickie James is the special enforcer for this match. I would’ve rather seen her in this match as her and Purrazzo carried the women’s division for most of last year and into this year. Steelz is the heel champion, having won the title from James a few months back, Purrazzo and Green are heels, Grace is a face who hasn’t been in the women’s division since last year and Mia Yim is also a face, having only rejoined Impact last month.
Match #6: Queen of the Mountain for the Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Tasha Steelz (c) w/ Savannah Evans vs Deonna Purrazzo vs Jordynn Grace vs Chelsea Green vs Mia Yim
Steelz makes her entrance last and promptly exits the ring to grab a table. Grace is squaring off with Purrazzo and Green is taking on Yim. Green and Purrazzo discuss working together and Green gets a two count on Yim. The heel duo beat down Mia Yim and whip her into the ropes but Yim dives through and takes out Steelz and Evans on the outside. Green heads to the top rope and takes out the rest of the competitors on the floor with a diving crossbody. Purrazzo climbs to the other side and hits a diving senton on the pile of humanity. Green pulls Steelz into the ring and the referee botches the three count then re-counts and Steelz is into the penalty box for two minutes. Green is eligible. Jordynn Grace is back in the ring and she and Yim double team Purazzo in the corner. Double Suplex on Purazzo followed by a two count by Yim, which is interrupted by Grace. The face team work has broken down. Purrazzo is whipped into the corner but avoids attacks from Yim with an elbow as Tasha Steelz is released from the penalty box. Back in the ring and Steel hits Grace with a Code Breaker and gets a close two count on Yim. Evans runs in to the ring and tries to chokeslam Yim, but Mickie James gets into the ring and bars Evans from ringside. Steelz hates that and knocks Mickie’s hat off but Green rolls her up for a two count. It’s Green vs Steelz in the ring, Steelz off the ropes and hits a diving knee that misses by a long way. Mia Yim back in and pins Green for 3 with a bridging German suplex. Green to the penalty box and now Yim is also eligible. Chelsea Green takes a cheap shot at Mickie James as she gets loaded into the box. Mia Yim retrieves the championship and climbs the ladder to hang it up. Steelz meets her and hits a huge diving cutter off the ladder! Purrazzo back in and slaps on the Fujiwara armbar on Grace. Steelz goes to interrupt but gets an armbar too. Steelz taps out, making Purazzo the third eligible competitor. Steelz back to the penalty box again. Green and Purazzo with the double team on Grace in the corner. Grace counters with elbows before a diving dropkick on Purazzo sending her to the floor. Green hits a backstabber on Grace before getting a two-count on Yim following a ladder shot. It’s Green ad Yim alone in the ring. Green hits a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle for a two count. Back and forth slaps to the face, Green retrieves the title and Yim rolls her up for a two count. Green whips Yim hard into the turnbuckle. She taunts the crowd and holds up the title. Tasha Steelz is back out of the penalty box and runs right into a curb stomp onto the ladder. She turns around and is taken out by a drop kick onto the ladder from Yim! Yim runs the rungs of the ladder and hits a senton on the outside takes out Grace and Purrazzo. Yim hits a package piledriver on Grace on the outside and Grace has to go to the penalty box. Yim brings the championship back in the ring. Green nails Steelz with a headbutt. She grabs the title and climbs to the top but is met by Mickie James who gives her rival a Mick Kick right to the face. James gives Yim the title and she begins the climb. Purrazzo intercepts and hits a powerbomb off the ladder onto a ladder that’s on the ring mat. Ouch! Green back in and takes out Steelz with a Flatliner onto the ladder. Tasha Steelz has easily taken the most punishment thus far. Green has the title and climbs to the top with Purrazzo. They get to the top but Mia Yim returns and tips them off the ladder as they fall to the outside, crashing through two tables. Huge bump! Back in the ring and Steelz and Grace hit a double team move on Yim and both collect the pin. They both become eligible and Yim goes to the penalty box. Steelz sets up the ladder and collects her championship. She slowly climbs but Grace stops her and hits a Muscle Buster off the ladder. Steelz has to go to the penalty box. Grace climbs to the top and hangs the championship to the hook to become champion at 19:05, as Mia Yim watches on, having 45 seconds left in the penalty box.
Winner and NEW Impact Knockouts Champion: Jordynne Grace
Analysis ***3/4 Credit to all five ladies (and the special enforcer) who all took big bumps throughout the match. That table bump with Green and Purazzo was brutal. It’s another chaotic match to follow with rules that not everyone will love, but once again it’s original to Impact so it’s a showcase match. With the penalty box rule, there was more time to focus on 1 on 1 action inside the ring, so for the fans, it’s a bit easier to follow in a multi-person match, compared to say the previous ten-man tag match. I think it’s the right call to go with Grace as champion. She had a good run with the Digital Media Championship and feuded with Matt Cardona, but now I’m looking forward to her taking on Purazzo and some of the other heels in the Knockouts division. Steelz’s run wasn’t very interesting.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
Backstage, Goldilocks interviewed Gail Kim, voted the most Impactful Knockout in Impact history. Kim puts the Knockouts division over. She never really hit the heights in WWE that she should have, but was a top talent in Impact.
Rehwoldt and Hannifan congratulate Jordynne Grace and advertise the next Impact Plus special, Against All Odds, on July 1st as well as the next Pay Per View Bound for Glory in October. It’s time for the main event as a video package looks at the rivalry between Josh Alexander and Eric Young. Young won a Gauntlet for the Gold #1 Contender’s match on an Impact weekly show about a month ago. He is the heel leader of the group, Violent by Design, whilst Alexander is the fan-favourite babyface champion. Young made his entrance with his stable mates Cody Deaner and Joe Doring, whilst Alexander came out to a decent pop. Brian Hebner is the referee, in his final match in Impact.
Match #7: Impact World Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Eric Young
The bell rings and the main event kicks off with “Walking Weapon” chants from the crowd. They lock up and Young forces Alexander into the corner. Young talks trash to the crowd and they lock up again. Young misses a wild clothesline in the corner and stares down Alexander with a creepy smile. Alexander takes down Young with a hip toss and Young is visibly frustrated. Alexander hit a rolling senton and tries a moonsault but Young rolls out of the way. He goes for one of his own but misses and both men go forehead to forehead in the middle of the ring. They trade right hands and uppercuts before chopping each other a few times. Young misses a clothesline and Alexander backs him into the corner with palm strikes. Young is down and Alexander runs through him with his boot in the corner. It’s a slow-paced match at this point with both wrestlers still feeling each other out. Young takes down Alexander with a fireman’s carry for the first two-count of the match. Deaner sets up a table on the outside and instructs Young to put him through it. Alexander fights back and chops Young into the corner. Irish whip into the corner and Young jumps over the top. Alexander with right hands as Young almost teeters off the ring apron onto the table. Both men climb to the top and Young knocks Alexander off before performing his elbow drop for two. Young looks under the ring for a weapon but he unhooks the canvas and exposes the corner of the ring. Young runs into the corner but Alexander kicks him in the face. Attempted German suplex is blocked by Young but Alexander hits an overhead Belly to Belly Suplex followed up by a clothesline. Alexander hits a powerbomb for two and flips it into a submission but Deaner gets up on the rope for the distraction. Alexander knocks him down and takes out Doring, then follows up with a crossbody on Young for two. The crowd are into it now. Young reverses the C4 and hits the Stroke on Alexander for two. That was close. Alexander tries for the C4 again but gets flipped over, he holds on to the ankle of Young as he looks for the submission but Young reverses and crawls to the corner. Young hits the Black Hole Slam as he continues to pull out the history of Impact moves but only gets a two count. Young backs Alexander into the corner and hits a hard right hand. Young is wasting time by taunting in the corner and is collected by an STO from Alexander. Alexander thinks it’s time for the BME and gets a two count. Shades of Christopher Daniels there. Both men are tiring now as the pace has picked up. Alexander tries a C4 again but Young fights out again. He finally gets him up but turns it into a Styles Clash! Two count again for Alexander and he flips Young over for the Anklelock. Young is close to the bottom rope but gets pulled back into the middle. Young taps out but Deaner threw a yellow powder into the eyes of referee Hebner. Deaner gets into the ring but takes a German suplex from Alexander. Doring gets into the ring but Alexander gets onto the apron, puts Doring on his shoulders and hits an Angle Slam over the top rope and through the table! “This is awesome” chants from the small crowd. Deaner is back in the ring with the VBD flag but Alexander goes under the ring and gets out his Canadian flag (to boos in Tennessee!). Alexander hits Deaner with the flag but Young sneaks in and smashes Alexander over the head with a guitar! Close two count there. Young pulls back the ring canvas and the matting to expose the wooden ring beams. Young pulls Alexander to the corner and hits a massive piledriver on the exposed wood. 1, 2, no! Kick out by Alexander! Young hoists Alexander up onto the top rope and puts him position for a super piledriver but Alexander fights out and has the anklelock in. Young fights out with a kick to the head but runs into a Uranage on the exposed wood. Alexander hits the C4 Spike on the exposed wood for the three count after 19:07.
WINNER AND STILL Impact World Champion: Josh Alexander
Analysis: ***½ A solid face vs heel story where the heel ended up paying for his attempted dastardly actions in the end. The first 5-6 minutes were slow but added to the story of how even the match was. They paid homage to the 20 years of Impact with moves from Angle, Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett and Daniels throughout. It’s not often you see the exposed wooden ring mat, but it fit the psychotic character of Eric Young to try something like that in order to win the championship. Alexander is a likeable, fighting champion, and I look forward to seeing who he faces next.
The show ended with a bloodied Alexander celebrating with his championship as the crowd cheered.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 20, 2022
Final thoughts: 7/10
As usual, it was a really solid showing from Impact Wrestling. With a run time of under 3 hours, it wasn’t as draining as the last few weeks of pay per views of AEW, NJPW and NWA which all went well over 3 ½ hours. The matches were all fast-paced, entertaining and the booking was mostly sound. I rated all the matches between 3 and 3 ¾ stars. I would’ve had the Briscoes retain their titles as they hadn’t been champions for long and add more to the tag team scene than the Good Brothers. The Queen of the Mountain match and the ten-man tag match were the most enjoyable, but there were no matches that hit that classic or four-star level. This can also be what happens when you have most matches in the 10-15 minute range. The main event was an even, back and forth contest that told the simple story of the face overcoming the heel stable and his dastardly tactics.
Impact does simple storytelling well and doesn’t overcomplicate things with a bunch of run-ins or over-the-top backstage segments. I look forward to continuing to watch their product and hope their fan base grows in order for them to still be in business in the next 20 years.
I enjoyed writing this. Here’s my email address in case anybody wants to get in touch with me. Thanks for reading this review.