After the critical and commercial success of Slammiversary 2018, the following year’s Slammiversary 2019 had to really deliver in order to show everyone that Impact’s return to relevancy in 2018 wasn’t a fluke and by all accounts, the show did continue the company’s impressive streak of producing consistent nonstop action.
At the same time, however, events behind the scenes would soon come out that would become major talking points for the company and its fans for the rest of 2019.
Nevertheless, It was a night that saw returns, a whole lot of violence and two phenomenal main event matches; But as is often the case there are a few pieces of trivia about this event that many of you may or may not now about, so today I’ll be mentioning 10 Facts About Slammiversary 2019.
10. Madison Rayne Turned Heel During The Pre-Show Match
Pre-show matches usually don’t get that much attention from fans, presumably over the idea that if a match ends up being on the warm-up show instead of the actually PPV then it’s probably an indication that either the card is already too stacked with matches or the match itself isn’t important enough to be on the card.
Sometimes however, important things can happen during a pre-show such was the case in the triple threat pre-match at Slammiversary 2019. The bout saw Jordynne Grace, Kiera Hogan and Madison Rayne face off following weeks of back-to-back matches and conflicts amongst the women, with Grace picking up the victory.
Following the match, a visibly upset Madison Rayne is seen in the corner when Jordynne extends her hand as a gesture of good sportsmanship; Madison accepts the offer but it doesn’t do any good as Rayne would sneak attack Grace followed by Kiera Hogan with the two Knockouts hitting a tag team like maneuver on Grace.
The heel turn and the cooperation between both Rayne and Hogan following this match would see the two them form a partnership that would continue their feud with Jordynne leading into the early months of 2020 and they even helped Taya Valkyrie retain her Knockouts Championship in a Triple Threat title match at the first pay per view of 2020, Hard To Kill.
9. RVD Wrestled In His First Match At Slammiversary In Seven Years
The Whole F’n Show, Rob Van Dam returned to Impact Wrestling as part of the ‘United We Stand’ show on February 8th 2019 only to announce in the weeks following this event that he would be working with the promotion in the foreseeable future.
Van Dam went on to take on names like Ethan Page before finding himself in the crosshairs of Moose, who was looking to destroy all of the ECW legends who were showing up on Impact television and thus a match between RVD and Moose was set for this event.
The match itself wasn’t really worth talking about, but a lesser-known fact about this match is that this was Rob Van Dam’s first match at Slammiversary 2019 in almost a decade.
For those who don’t know, RVD’s last match at Slammiversary saw him going up against Jeff Hardy and Mr Anderson in a triple threat match to determine the number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary 10 which was in 2012.
Meaning this was Van Dam’s first bout at Slammiversary (2019) in seven years since his departure from the promotion in 2013.
8. The North Won The Tag Team Titles Days Before
The triple threat tag team title match at Slammiversary was already interesting to many fans, considering the future of one of the teams involved in this match, but more on that in the next entry.
Following a controversial finish to their tag team match on an episode of Impact, The Rascalz (Desmond Xavier and Zachery Wentz) were set to take on the team of LAX (Santana and Ortiz) in a rematch for the tag titles at Slammiversary but by the time the match at Slammiversary 2019 was set to take place, the tag team match became a triple threat tag team match.
In a prime example of the old phrase “Anything can happen in professional wrestling” the duo of Ethan Page and Josh Alexander also known as “The North” took on Santana and Ortiz on an Impact Plus Special known as “Bash At The Brewery” for the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Titles.
At the time, The North were relatively new as a tag team in Impact after making their debut a few months ago in a six man tag team match at the Rebellion pay per view, so to see this new tag team who didn’t have a previous run in the WWE become champions in Impact Wrestling so soon, shocked a lot of people.
Fun Fact, the Bash At The Brewery event aired on a Friday, which was the same time Impact was airing their weekly episodic TV show in 2019 before moving to Tuesday and eventually back to Thursday nights.
As a result of this win, the one-on-one tag team match between The Rascalz and LAX became a triple threat with the belts on the line.
7. Santana And Ortiz’s Contract Situations
Before Santana and Ortiz were out drinking the bubbly in the Inner Circle for All Elite Wrestling, they were killing it in Impact Wrestling’s tag team division from 2017-19 becoming five time tag team champions in the process.
By July of 2019, the situation regarding both men’s future in the company was up in the air as their contracts were set to expire and despite Impact management wanting to have the pair re-sign, Santana and Ortiz weren’t looking to stay.
The finish to the triple threat world tag team title match saw the Rascalz taking the pinfall lost to The North after a maneuver involving Santana resulted him suffering an injury (although it was later revealed that the injury was a work).
As it turns out, Santana and Ortiz’s contract weren’t up until the month of August thus leading to more speculation as to what they were going to do next. Although the answer is pretty much clear now, at the time nobody knew if they were staying or going.
6. Killer Kross Had His Last Impact Match On This Show
Killer Kross was one of the new faces who were introduced to the company under the Don Callis and Scott D’Amore regime and following his shocking debut on an episode of Impact in 2018, Kross took on names like Petey Williams and Fallah Bahh with the eventual goal being that Kross would become the next Impact World Heavyweight Champion in the near future following his first blood match at Slammiversary 2019 with Eddie Edwards…Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned between Kross or Impact management.
According to many, Kross had allegedly told management either a day or a few hours before the show that he wasn’t comfortable with doing a “blade job” aka bleeding for real and worried that there weren’t any doctors on-site in case something might happen. When it came time to do the first blood match, Eddie Edwards won with Kross using fake blood to simulate his bloody injuries.
The issues between Kross and Impact management didn’t end there as a few weeks following the first blood match, reports would begin to come out that Kross was unhappy with the company for addition reasons like creative direction and the amount of money he was making.
Due to negotiations between Kross and management not going anywhere and Kross allegedly refusing a six figure deal for three years, Impact management discontinued their usage of Kross on Impact programming and his girlfriend and Impact Wrestler at the time, Scarlett Boudreaux was let go from the company due to similar issues with money.
A day or two before Christmas of 2019, Killer Kross was released from his Impact Wrestling contract and then went on to wrestle in Major League Wrestling (MLW) and as of the writing of this article, is currently signed with the WWE, where he and Scarlett work together as a devious heel couple on NXT.
5. Johnny Impact Stayed With The Company To Finish Up A Storyline
John Henning aka John Morrison wrestled in Impact Wrestling as ‘Johnny Impact’ from 2017-2019 where continued his career resurgence following his time in Lucha Underground.
By the summer of 2019, Johnny Impact would challenge former WWE alumni, Rich Swann for the X Division Championship at Slammiversary 2019, which he lost before leaving the company and making his return to the WWE.
Impact vs. Swann was an amazing match according to most but the match itself almost didn’t happen; According to sources, Johnny’s contract with Impact had expired weeks before this event, meaning by the time he competed in this match with Swann he was technically a free agent…so why did he stay a little while longer?
Apparently, Impact management worked out a deal where Johnny would be able to finish his storyline feud with Swann before leaving the company to which Johnny Impact agreed and he went on to honour that deal and have that amazing match with Swann before returning to Vince McMahon’s house of Sports Entertainment in late 2019.
4. Two Out Of The Four Competitors In The Monster’s Ball Match Were Making Their Slammiversary Debut
The fatal four-way monster’s ball match for the Knockouts Championship was not only an amazing match but it was also where many fans began to feel that the show was going into second and third gear as this match and ones that came after it was seen as the major highlights of the event.
What makes the match even more amazing is the realization that both Jessicka Havok and defending champion, Taya Valkyrie were making their Slammiversary 2019 debuts on this night.
Havok, who has a previous history with Impact wrestling debuted on the September 10th 2014 episode of Impact which was months after that year’s Slammiversary event. Taya wasn’t able to be at the 2018 Slammiversary show for two reasons: 1. she wasn’t booked to compete and 2. She was wrestling in other promotions like Triple A Lucha Libre at the time.
Su Yung had already made her debut at Slammiversary a year earlier and Rosemary also appeared with Decay at Slammiversary 2016 and competed in a title unification match against Sienna at Slammiversary 2017, making this Su’s second appearance and Rosemary’s third at Slammiversary.
Also as a bonus fact, Rosemary went on social media to dedicate this Monster’s Ball match to former Impact Wrestler, Hall of Famer, a former member of Decay “The Monster ” Abyss.
3. Rhino’s “Appearance” At The Show
The Michael Elgin vs. Brian Cage match for the Impact Wrestling World Championship was an instant classic plain and simple especially when you consider that one of them was wrestling with an injured back throughout the contest.
While the match itself was great, the part that most remember is the image of a short but stocky looking figure dressed in all black hitting a spear on Michael Elgin before running back into the crowd.
When word about this unknown figure was made public to fans and wrestling journalists alike, it didn’t take much time for a lot of people to believe the short stocky figure in all black was none other than former ECW and TNA world champion, Rhino.
So why exactly is so interesting about this you might be ask? Well as it turns out, Rhino had surprisingly turned down an offer to re-sign with the WWE, where he’d presumably do nothing much expect sit at home. when this news broke out no one knew where Rhino would appear, so when he “showed up” at Slammiversary 2019, many were wondering if there was going to be repercussions as Rhino’s contract had not expired yet.
To the shock of many, WWE didn’t pursue any legal action and after his deal with the WWE expired, Rhino would reappear again attacking Big Mike Elgin in the final moments of the July 26th 2019 episode of Impact; He has since signed a two year deal with Impact Wrestling in early 2020 where he has wrestled up-and-coming talents like Michael Elgin, Ace Austin, Moose and has even become one-half of the tag team champions with Violent By Design as of mid-2021.
2. Negotiations About Impact Moving To AXS TV
It feels almost like a lifetime ago when people would report that Impact Wrestling has moved to a new television channel following their cancellation on Spike TV back in 2014; And while channels like Destination America, Pop and Pursuit were temporary solutions to a bigger problem, they weren’t going to draw in new fans who were unfamiliar with the channel.
In the summer of 2019, reports began to come out that those in charge of Impact and Anthem Sports were in negotiations with media titan, Mark Cuban on the possibility of getting Impact Wrestling moved to AXS TV as Cuban was the chairman for the network.
This move to AXS was a big deal for Impact as AXS TV had experience in running pro wrestling content on their network with shows like New Japan Pro Wrestling and Women of Wrestling, so the chance that they would be able to air their content on the same network/channel was a ‘must have’ for the company.
While negotiations fell through a week or so later, the company would end up on AXS TV by the end of the year following the reports of Anthem Sports and Entertainment buying a majority stake within the network.
1. The “Tessa vs. Sami” Bout Was Scheduled As The Final Match The Day Before
That’s right, the first-ever intergender match to main event an Impact Wrestling pay per view wasn’t initially booked to be the final match on the card. As it turns out the decision to make Tessa vs. Sami the match event was actually made the day before the event.
In the Hard To Kill pre-show documentary, Tessa Blanchard mentions how she and Sami were supposed to be the semi-main event for Slammiversary 2019 and the world title match between Michael Elgin and Brian Cage would be the main event. However, a decision was made instead to have that the world title match be the semi-main event and Callihan vs. Blanchard would close out the show.
Concerns about Cage’s ability to wrestle with an injured back or the possibility of making a progressive move on one of your biggest shows could be seen as some of the factors for this sudden change in the card.
Although, considering how amazing the Elgin vs. Cage world title match was, it’s probably best to assume that neither Big Mike Elgin nor Cage were too upset over this decision.