Slammiversary – The Afterglow Review

One of the most anticipated PPV of the year has come and gone, they teased and promised a lot but did they deliver? Let’s take a look.

 

THE RASCALZ (DEZ & WENTZ) vs ???

What a wonderful start to the show. Impact has been teasing some amazing returns and debuts, and they did not disappoint with the return of the Motor City Machine Guns! You heard that right; Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley are back! AEW love to claim they have the best tag team division around, but this match will argue Impact also has a solid division, these two teams gave everything out there and it was a welcome return for MCMG as they pick up the victory.

 

MOOSE (c) vs TOMMY DREAMER
Old School Match for the (unsanctioned) TNA World Championship

We all know Moose is not a real champion and for those watching AEW can see Brian Cage has clearly been inspired from Moose with that awful FTW belt and demanding the announcer call him the champion. Moose is money, he is gold, and not only on the mic, but the insane things he’s able to do in the ring for his size and weight. As for Dreamer, I’m sorry but someone needs to put him down, I was really hoping he’d come out and announce he has found someone to take his place, alas it was not to be. Thankfully Old School rules means hardcore and we know how Dreamer thrives in these kinds of matches

The match was better than I was going to give it credit for, but Moose carried this match, he delivered a fantastic dropkick (which Impact kindly messed up by showing a replay AFTER the move) an not long after hit a standing Moonsault… A STANDING MOONSAULT, this man is 6 foot 4 people!!! The end sees Dreamer pour thumb tacks onto the floor (because what hardcore match is completed without them) but worked against him as Moose nearly pushes Dreamer’s face into them, instead falls stomach first into the tacks, Moose then hits his signature move for the victory.

 

GAUNTLET FOR THE GOLD MATCH
#1 Contender for the Impact Knockouts Championship

Tasha Steelz and Kylie Rae start the match, they go back and forth until the next entrant, Taya Valkyrie. Wait a minute… That’s not Taya, It’s John E. Bravo dressed like Taya! (s)He makes their way to the ring and is quickly eliminated. Kimber Lee enters next, followed by Kiera Hogan, followed by Susie. Susie and Kylie work together and quickly eliminate Steelz, much to the dismay of her tag partner, Hogan. Katie Forbes then enters next, who I honestly have never heard of before, but she clearly enjoys twerking. Madison Rayne makes her return and quickly gets into an altercation with Hogan (who I believe has history with Rayne), Havok then enters, who takes no s*** from anyone dropping one after another.

The REAL Taya Valkyrie is next out followed by Alisha Edwards, in the mean time Katie Forbes is eliminated, but is easily missed as they had to announce it. Neveah enters, followed by Rosemary, Susie is eliminated, then Rosemary enters again… Wait a second, that’s John E. Bravo again! Taya and Rosemary end up arguing over Bravo. After a scuffle Havok is eliminated by Bravo, who is quickly eliminated by Kylie who then proceeds to eliminate Madison Rayne, but at least she apologises to them afterwards.

Havok and Alisha then eliminate one another; Rosemary then eliminates Hogan, leaving just Taya Valkyrie, Kylie Rae, Rosemary and Kimber Lee, but it doesn’t take long before Lee is eliminated, leaving Kylie in a 2 v 1 situation. Taya and Rosemary work on Kylie in the corner, but Taya on purpose or by accident eliminates Rosemary leaving just Taya and Kylie 1 v 1, but it doesn’t last long as Bayley 2 – I mean Kylie Rae hits her signature for the 3 count and becomes the #1 contender!

It wasn’t the most exciting match, I was hoping for some surprises and while we got some fun John E. Bravo moments, it was pretty bland, then I really wanted to see Taya and Kylie have a bit of a match before the finish but they seemed to just rush through it instead.

 

HEATH!

Heath Slater (now known as just Heath) jumps the rails in his ‘free agent’ t-shirt and declares he wants in on the Impact Championship match. It’s not long before Rohit Raju comes out and talks trash to Heath, he tries to beat down Heath, but come on this is his big moment and takes Rohit down.

Shortly after the following match Heath bumps into Rhino backstage for a delightful reunion, but is quickly interrupted by Scott D’Amore who sends him packing. Seeing as he’s a free agent he can’t be in the building due to COVID testing. Rhino tells Heath to turn up to Impact Tuesday and give him a call as he’ll sort it out.

 

WILLIE MACK (c) vs CHRIS BEY
Singles match for the X Division Championship

Chris Bey is all sorts of amazing, he is silky smooth in the ring, and with Mack these two put on something stellar. Sadly they only got 10 minutes when they could have easily delivered double that, but for the time we got it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t all just high flying as the brutality was there too, Bey trash talks Mack calling him Willie Wack, which in return gets a couple hard slaps to the face, I mean you could hear them from space, jeez! These two had one hell of a battle, but it all ends when Bey accidentally hurts the ref, rakes the eyes of Mack and hits him with some sort of crucifix followed by a RKO style move from the ropes, called The Art of Finesse to become the NEW X Division champion! It seems Bey didn’t need Johnny Swinger after all and found a way to win. Great match but as I said before, they deserved longer as these two could go!

 

THE NORTH (ETHAN PAGE & JOSH ALEXANDER) (c) vs KEN SHAMROCK & SAMI CALLIHAN
Tag Team match for the Impact Tag Team Championships

Just like with Dreamer, I do not want to see Ken Shamrock wrestle, he’s too old and never that good in the ring, yet he’s taking time away from young talent who deserves the spotlight. We knew the relationship between Shamrock and Callihan would be unstable with the fact they were enemies just a couple months prior, but they respect one another enough to work together to beat The North. While The North have been a solid tag team for a reason, they are impressive in the ring and can make anyone look great, personally I can’t wait to see them in the ring with Gallows and Anderson and MCMG.

It wasn’t the best match of the night, it had some fun spots, such as Shamrock and Alexander locking in the ankle locks on Page and Callihan, but overall I lost my focus during the match. Towards the end Shamrock goes for a kick, but misses and hits Callihan, he fights them off until he goes for a dive to the outside but gets nothing but floor. The North hid a wonderful double team on Shamrock to pick up the victory.

After the match The North talk about how they have been looked over, not getting an interview when they passed the one year mark and go on to say they are the best tag team around. Of course they gains the attention of a certain tag team, MCMG come out and declare that while the North were the best, as of today they aren’t anymore an both will fight for the titles this Tuesday on Impact.

 

JORDYNNE GRACE (c) vs DEONNA PURRAZZO
Singles match for the Impact Knockouts Championship

Before the PPV started this is the match I was looking forward to the most, Impact has always had an impressive women’s division and AEW could really learn a thing or two from Impact. Grace has been fantastic and Purrazzo is a solid wrestler, even if she’s not had a lot of chance to show it. I knew this match had the potential to be the match of the night and boy did it deliver! It had it all, physicality, great submission and clinical moves and had you wanting more. WWE missed out on a future star in Purrazzo and she showed exactly why she needed to leave because in just one match she’s already a star. I won’t go into too much detail as I was as it’s something that should be watched, not read about. The finish saw submissions a plenty, but Purrazzo gets Grave into a brutal looking double armbar, forcing Grace to shout “I quit”, meaning Purrazzo is the NEW Knockouts Champion!

 

ACE AUSTIN /w MADMAN FULTON vs EDDIE EDWARDS vs TREY vs ???
Fatal-Four Way Elimination Match for the Vacant Impact World Championship

Let’s not talk about the mess this match was looking to be, starting with Tessa Blanchard vacating the title, then Elgin… What’s important is everyone wants to know who the fourth man is, is it EC3, Eric Young, maybe someone new like Matt Cardona (formerly known as Zack Ryder), well the fourth man is non-other than Rich Swann… Yeah disappointing right, but it’s great to see Swann back from injury. They all square off and just as the bell is about to ring, non-other than Eric Young turns up and announces this is now a fatal five way match!

Before the match can really get going Fulton gets involved, but the ref is having none of it, he tells Fulton to head to the back, he refuses which causes the ref to give an ultimatum, head to the back or Ace is disqualified, so of course Ace tells him to leave. It wasn’t long before blood came in the form of Eric Young (who I’m pretty sure bladed), while he’s finding his feet, Trey breaks up a pin between Ace and Edwards and gets caught in a Piledriver from EY to be the first eliminated.

More happens (honestly it’s not worth reporting it all, just watch it), then Ace and Edwards get on the top, Swann joins them before EY grabs Swann for a powerbomb, he uses Swann to send Ace and Edwards off the corner onto a table and flattens Swann. Just when you think EY is about to finish off Swann, he rolls EY up for the three count and sends EY packing. Of course Young is not happy about this and attacks Swann’s recently repaired leg and traps it in a chair and jumps up and down on it setting up a delightful feud for the future.

Ace comes in to take advantage of a hurt Swann, but Swann does well to fight off Ace, but Ace hits The Fold and eliminates Swann, leaving just Ace and Edwards. These two have a fantastic back and forth but Eddie Edwards takes advantage and hits the Diehard Flowsion for the victory to becoe the NEW Impact World Champion!

Fulton makes his return and helps Ace beat down Edwards, that is until the Good Brothers make their appearance, they come down and seemingly side with Ace, until Karl Anderson floors Ace and Luke Gallows (it seems they’ve managed to keep their names) takes down Fulton and starts a stable with Edwards. They hit the Magic Killer on Ace Austin to end the show.

 

Or is it! As the show looks like it’s about to end, three lines pop up on the screen. EC3 shows up on the video and hurls a glass at the wall to end the show.

 

 

AFTER THE BELL

What a show this was, they promised a lot and delivered! With Heath, MCMG, Eric Young and EC3 all in, I can’t wait to watch Tuesday’s show to see what they have planned next. If Impact can continue with this kind of quality, then I don’t see why they can’t make their way back up the ladder and become a true 3rd option to WWE and AEW. The only real issues were tech, whether it was mics not working or a silly failed replay, but that’s minor, the matches were solid and these guys showed what they’re capable of.