Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2021 HOT TAKE
Anniversary, definition: The annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years.
Slammiversary, definition: The annual recurrence of a date marking action, violence, drama as produced by Impact Wrestling held in jubilation of the promotion marking another year of Total Nonstop Action.
Impact Wrestling, like the rest of the world, craves a return to normalcy. Normalcy within a combat spot like professional wrestling does not truly exist. What does exist is that day in and day out, the collective insanity and drive to settle scores, to win championship gold, to achieve the dream of being recognized as the most important and most powerful competitor - that irrepressible drive to succeed.
Over the last year-plus, Impact Wrestling has continued to forge its path in a world unlike any seen before in professional wrestling and now it closes in on its Slammiversary with the gates kicked back open, inviting fans to return live and in person in Nashville, TN just in time for the company to celebrate 19 years, setting the stage for the beginning of year 20 as FITE viewers get the best possible ringside seat via the devices of their choice.
As temperatures rise and heatwaves abound, the true scorcher of the season may be the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship bout. In a world where every hero, every Superman has fallen to reigning and defending Impact and AEW kingpin Kenny Omega, Impact has found itself with a most unlikely choice in what may be their final opportunity to wrest power away from Omega and Don Callis - Sami Callihan.
Yes, THAT Sami Callihan. One of the most despised and violent personalities in the history of Impact Wrestling finds himself in the most unlikely position of savior. Imagine a world where Batman has fallen and Gotham City looks to The Joker to save the day. That is how desperate times have become within Impact, that the man who nearly maimed Eddie Edwards for life with a baseball bat represents the company's last hope for the future.
For Callihan to success, he's going to have to reach into the blackest, bleakest parts of his arsenal, looking to not only out-perform Omega, who drips accolades out of his pores, but also has Callis, The Good Brothers, The Elite and more at his disposal. Omega's drive to seize power in multiple promotions is well known, but how desperate will he become if Callihan's unorthodox violence pushes the "Best Bout Machine" out of his comfort zone as a performer? What good is a V-Trigger after a baseball bat to the knee? How can one perform the One-Winged Angel if their shoulder has been tortured to the brink of no return?
Callihan is not just looking for a title victory but vengeance. In a world where Callihan is dangerous when he's in a good mood, the level of depravity and seething, sinister intentions may boil over to something that Impact Wrestling has rarely, if ever seen. When the smoke clears from the battlefield, no matter who claims championship glory, the only true question to be asked will be - WHAT NOW?
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2021 will also feature the following headline bouts:
KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP: Deonna Purrazzo is truly the Virtuosa of professional wrestling, preying upon and discarding defeated opponents like a collector of fine arts. Her ability to break down challengers is impressive by every single standard, but what does Purrazzo do with a mystery opponent that won't be known to anyone, including the Champion, when that challenger emerges from the shadows and heads to the ring? This will be the ultimate chess game for Purrazzo, as she'll enter the competition effectively blindfolded until the bell rings for battle. If she can emerge Knockouts Champion yet again, she will have truly evolved to the next level, the Queen of the Gambit.
ULTIMATE X RETURNS: Josh Alexander has mastered the Iron Man match and demands eternal competition from Impact Wrestling management, but even the reigning X-Division Champion may have to take a pause before charging head-on into battle at Slammiversary. For the first time in several years, The Ultimate X will allow Impact's X-Division competitors to truly ascend to the heavens in an attempt to capture title glory while sending all other competitors careening straight to hell. While the competitors have all found themselves making tenuous alliances on the journey to the most celebrated Impact match of all time, Alexander, Petey Williams, Chris Bey, Rohit Raju, Ace Austin and Trey Miguel all know the hard truth - there can only be one winner who claims the X-Division Championship. All others are hard targets, competitors who need to be dispatched and destroyed in order to clear the field of competition as everyone tries to transverse the wires to their place in the time capsule of Impact history.
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions Violent By have claimed for months that the entire wrestling industry is dying from within, a sickness that only they can recognize and destroy. Of course, for someone who carries as twisted a soul as the one that comes from within Eric Young, those claims are dubious at best. The ripple effect of their ideology and attacks, however, are as real as cold, hard steel. At Slammiversary, numerous challengers will step up seeking to prove their worth as the best in the world, but also attempting to turn back the hordes of Violent by Design. Can former Impact World Champion Rich Swann and grizzled vet Willie Mack prove to be the X-Factor in stopping Rhino, Deaner and possibly even Joe Doering? Will The Good Brothers, always out for their own purposes, step up and enforce their will? Can anyone even hope to enforce anything against VBD? Or, will the unique combination of finesse and power united, TJP and Fallah Bahh pull out the greatest victory in their team history before FITE viewers?
Moose vs. Chris Sabin - Over the course of his Impact run, Moose has declared himself a wrestling God and the TNA Champion and there is nothing anyone can do about it, because as one of the best big men athletes of our time, he carries the ferocity of Ernie Ladd with the agility of Ricky Steamboat. He is a competitor dripping athletic perfection, a perfection that is rivaled only by his anger towards the world at large. Moose has left a path of destruction in his wake over his career, but the one question that has never been posed is what happens when one of the victims of his rage returns for revenge. Chris Sabin is one of the most celebrated competitors in Impact history, having won every single championship possible. He also carries a fighting spirit unlike any other and now that spirit has been stoked into a raging inferno, seeking to regain his dignity after being taken out and put on the shelf by Moose. While fans usually expect a wrestling clinic from Sabin, instead, he's going to war at Slammiversary. The only problem is, he's going to war with a walking tank.
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Champions Fire N' Flayva vs. Rosemary & Havok - Fire N' Flayva, Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz, have squawked, fought and schemed their way to title excellence as the Knockouts Tag Team Champions but at Slammiversary, they may finally have to pay penance for all their sins. Over the last several years, the champions have run afoul of the demonic tandem of Havok and Rosemary as they were paired with different partners, but now, there may be no escape as they find themselves defending their titles against the determined and united daughters of the Undead Realm. If the champions can somehow figure out the Riddle of the Sphinx that is the endless zombie onslaught facing them at Slammiversary, they will truly have every right to stake their claim as being the best in any realm. If not, a sobering truth may need to be faced before they can regroup with any true fire or flavor.
W. Morrisey vs. Eddie Edwards - Since arriving in Impact Wrestling, W. Morrisey has scorched the Earth in every direction with both his relentless brutality and his angry comments, claiming that the entire industry is one big farce built upon manipulation, lies and destruction, pointing to the fact that no one was there for him when he went through the worst moments of his own life. Having risen like a phoenix from the ashes of his own self-destruction, Morrisey has taken it upon himself to prove his point, attacking competitors from behind when they least expect it and beating as many as three competitors at the same time. If there is one competitor who can hope to sooth the roar of this bitter, angry beast, it may be former Impact Wrestling World Champion Eddie Edwards. A fierce brawler in his own right, Edwards is also the heart and soul of Impact, one who is rightfully celebrated as one of the best Impact has to offer. Edwards seeks to avenge the beating Morrisey gave him in a parking lot, preventing the dream match scheduled between Edwards and New Japan Pro Wrestling's legendary Satoshi Kojima several weeks back. However, the key to beating Morrisey may not be an eye-for-an-eye attempt at violence, but by using empathy to show him the errors of his way. Whether Edwards will attempt that strategy remains to be seen, but this will be the highest profile test for the undefeated Morrisey to date. Whether it ends in victory or defeat, the true prediction will be pain and suffering.
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.