Three things Impact Wrestling got right at Slammiversary

Wrestling (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Wrestling (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

On July 17, Impact Wrestling welcomed fans back for the 2021 edition of their Slammiversary Pay-Per-View, and while there are a couple of things you could criticize, the bookers put together a very good show for those in attendance (and those who watched at home.

This was a show built around two things: the possibility of surprise appearances and the Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan main event. On both counts, Impact delivered. It got a number of other things right, too, but documenting that here would take a lot of time.

So, let’s focus on three of them.

These are the three things Impact got right at Slammiversary 2021.

Picking Thunder Rosa as Deonna Purrazzo’s challenger

With Impact literally having no opponents left for Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, the promotion turned to open challenge trope for “The Virtuosa’s” next title defense. As expected, this generated some buzz, as fans wondered who would step up to face Purrazzo. Would it be Mickie James? Kylie Rae, perhaps? Someone from All Elite Wrestling?

Well, the answer was sort of the latter, as NWA and AEW star Thunder Rosa answered the call. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway because word counts), this reveal did leave the fans underwhelmed.

Putting Rosa in this spot here worked for a few other reasons. One of them was obviously the match quality; the two authored an enthralling 10-and-a-half minute bout. Also, this maintained the “you never know who will show up” momentum the show had established. Most importantly, though, it fortified the company’s faith in Purrazzo as one of their centerpieces seeing her face one of the hottest acts in wrestling today and beating her (Purrazzo scored the clean pin after delivering a Gotch Piledriver).

It’s also encouraging to see them transitioning to a program between Purrazzo and Mickie James, but we’ll see if that goes anywhere.

Josh Alexander retains the X Division Championship

Heading into the six-man Ultimate X match, you could’ve made a sturdy case for anyone except Petey Williams winning (Williams is great, but he doesn’t need the belt at this point in his career). However, they made the correct choice sticking with Josh Alexander as X Division Champion.

“The Walking Weapon” has hit his stride as the “take on all comers” babyface titleholder, and while moving the title over to, say, Chris Bey or Trey Miguel would’ve been acceptable, keeping Alexander on a roll allows them to build up this reign as a meaningful one while presenting him as a contrast to Impact World Champion Kenny Omega (hopefully leading to a match between the two down the line).

The match itself is well worth your time. It featured the high-level athleticism fans have come to expect from the X Division, and the spots where Rohit Raju tried to find alternate means to retrieve the X Division Title because he was too short to reach the wire were great.

W. Morrissey defeats Eddie Edwards

Speaking of putting people over, Impact has done a nice job establishing W. Morrissey as a threat, and that continued in his match against Eddie Edwards.

In Edwards, the former Big Cass couldn’t have asked for a better person to put him over. Edwards not only has the cache that comes with being a two-time Impact World Champion, but also the bumping and selling ability to make the big man look like a monster. In this solid big man/little man affair, that’s exactly what we got.

Next. Impact: Jay White faces off with Kenny Omega at Slammiversary. dark

Of course, the finish to this one — Morrissey hit Edwards with a chain before delivering a big boot and scoring the pin — protected Edwards in defeat, but between this win that the one Morrissey got over Rich Swann, it’s clear that Impact plans on positioning the 7-footer as one of the top heels in the company.