Slammiversary has always been Impact Wrestling's top event of the year for me. I've never quite bought into the Bound For Glory hype, despite the company repeating its "biggest show" narrative every October. Slammiversary has meaning, it has a solid history, it used to have a concept match (where are you King of the Mountain match?), and let's be honest, it bears one of the coolest names in a landscape of many wrestling events.
I say all of that to come to this point - Slammiversary just never felt, well, Slammiversary-ish this year. I can't quite explain why. Maybe it's a combination of things - quick buildups, random matches, and the feeling of merely being in-between creative arcs on many fronts.
Despite the aura and general feeling, the event still was a good one, though, it wasn't over-the-top great. I likely may never fire this one up again to rewatch, but it was entertaining. And Impact continues to be just that - solid - despite everything said above.
With all of that, here are some quick thoughts and feedback on Impact Slammiversary 2023:
- I like the effort of changing the ring for the event. The yellow ropes aren't quite my thing, but anything to separate the product's weekly shows from the larger ones through aesthetics, appearance, and production, is welcomed.
- Impact needs to fix its audio issues. At times the building looks loud. However, it never comes across that way. It's the same for the theme music.
- The Death Dollz has been a refreshing take on the women's tag team division. It's a small take, but the women's tag team titles - in all companies - have just been a random pairing of women. It's cool to see the Dollz (and of course later discussed, The Coven) as established acts.
- I'm excited for Kenny King as the Digital Media Champion. The dude really has always been solid in every role. Believable is the word that comes to mind. King is authentic and comfortable in his gimmick and role. I'd like to see him as DMC take another step for the belt.
- I'll forever love the X-Division, no matter how common (and dare I say, oversaturated) the style has become. However, I'm generally not a fan when Ultimate X is just a multi-man match for the sake of a hot start. I mean, I'm not complaining as this was still enjoyable. However, I do like it when there is substance in the division.
Kushida winning is an interesting direction.
- Jake Something is a much welcomed return. He has quite the look and presence. There is a lot of intrigue and potential there. Impact has been VERY good at repackaging or kickstarting wrestlers with characters and storylines who have the tools but haven't been able to put them together. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do with Something.
- The Women's Tag Title switch to Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly is definitely the right direction. As mentioned, I'm a fan of The Coven and I also think this frees them up for a refreshed direction without the titles.
I also have to admit, I thought Taylor Wilde's direction of this black magic gimmick was cheesy at first, however, she's done a good job of pulling it off.
- I'm going to just say it...the Bully Ray vs. Scott D'Amore feud stalled out for me. I'm not sure where, or why, but it had some juice and sort of stalled out en route to Slammiversary. I don't think it was the Maclin injury and eventual replacement with Deaner. In fact, I think bringing in Eric Young was a good pivot that made sense all around.
I guess I would have liked to see this one burn a little slower, and possibly get a bit deeper.
Getting back to Eric Young, his return as a babyface is certainly interesting. There is a natural story going after Deaner (who I also would've liked to see take 'The Design' in a more sadistic vision), but as we've learned from the past, Young will make whatever he's given work.
Eric Young still has the prettiest piledriver in the business.
The Team Canada reunion was cool. I know Bobby Roode is a ways off from any kind of in-ring return, and of course, he's under contract with WWE. However, a Roode return needs to happen. It's only right.
Speaking of Roode - has Scott D'Amore wearing Roode's robe to the ring?
- I'm not so privy to Lio Rush's reputation in the industry. I know there is one there. Whatever it is, I'm hoping it was due to circumstances and Scott D'Amore and company can find a home for Rush. The dude is super talented. I'm all for the win here. Sabin doesn't lose anything at all at this point of his career.
- The Tag Team Title match felt so random. So did the Subculture win. I get that companies often now buy into the concept that fans are "not stupid" and are aware of talent around the industry. I wish they would still introduce new talent - video package, history, backstory...something. Anything.
Subculture is insanely talented. But, other than that, why should I buy in?
- Where is Moose in the creative? The guy just feels lost in the mix.
- I really enjoyed Eddie Edwards vs. Frankie Kazarian. I enjoyed the story told and overall, Eddie Edwards rarely has a bad match. Future Hall of Famer for Impact - and that's wild to think how a company that felt like it wouldn't be able to bridge itself to the future at one time in history, has cultivated yet another cohort of Hall of Fame prospects (Edwards, Kazarian, Sabin, Shelley, etc...).
- Trinity is an absolute star. Of course, Deonna Purrazzo is a favorite of mine and feels like the home pick for any Impact fan. However, Trinity is just a notch above. The match was great, and the win genuinely felt like a moment for Trinity. I wished they could've stayed with it and let the moment breathe just a bit more.
- I'm all for Aldis in Impact Wrestling. This rise to the top and this World Title match all felt rushed. There was a solid story there with Aldis playing up his NWA heritage and Shelley being the spokesperson for the future generation, but this one felt like it had to be Shelley or run the risk of ruining his World Title reign forever as a fluke.
Shelley needs a solid program as World Champion - and yes, sign me up for him and Josh Alexander.
Hey, maybe do it Bound For Glory - you know, Impact's biggest event of the year?
Photos courtesy of ImpactWrestling.com