It was not that long ago that the world seemed normal. People were able to frequent their favorite bar, got to a restaurant, or even a watch a wrestling match in person, and oh yeah only luchadores wore masks. During those “normal” times we knew who the IMPACT world champion was, and we were looking forward to a five-way match at Slammiversary between Ace Austin, Trey Miguel, Michael Elgin, Eddie Edwards, and reigning champion Tessa Blanchard. So where to begin? Well most drinking establishments have been closed, in person wrestling matches seem like ancient history, the IMPACT title has been vacated, Michael Elgin and Tessa Blanchard are no longer with IMPACT wrestling and wearing masks have been mandated in most places across the globe.
Fortunately for us we have Slammiversary 2020 to look forward to this Saturday night, July 18th. While much has changed in our world over the last six months, Impact wrestling has remained steadfast in its mission to deliver highly compelling story lines and quality matches during the pandemic. Slammivesary 2020 will be no exception and I am looking forward to a night full of action, surprises, and intrigue as all of the IMPACT titles are on the line and a former champion is expected to return and this former champion will not be alone.
Let’s break it all down match by match as I give you my predictions for what should be an exciting and entertaining event.
Moose brought the TNA world heavyweight title out of retirement seemingly without consulting management at IMPACT. Nobody really knows if this is an actually sanctioned title or not. Moose has certainly done an impressive job of promoting both himself and the TNA title in recent weeks and it seems to be catching on. Tommy Dreamer has made no secret of his opinions about Moose and his work ethics is recent weeks. Dreamer has called Moose to task on his lack of focus and intensity during his wrestling career. Dreamer acknowledged the “God given ability and talent” but accused him not of pursuing his dreams but in looking for a paycheck.
This match may surprise some people with the sheer violence that it provides. Tommy Dreamer definitely lands a message about passion, dedication, and desire in this match but in the end it will not be enough. Perhaps this match will be the wakeup call Moose needs to go fulfill his self-perceived destiny and make a legitimate title run. Moose wins the match, but Dreamer delivers the message.
Prediction: Moose defeats Dreamer and retains the TNA title
The Knockouts Gauntlet Match will decide who will become the number one contender for the Knockouts title. The winner of this match will face either Jordynne Grace or the The Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo for the title. The Knockouts title is also on the line at Slammiversary and we will discuss that title match in a bit.
The gauntlet match will feature ten members of the knockout division all competing to punch their ticket for a title shot. Taya Valkyrie, Kierra Hogan, Susie, Rosemary, Nevaeh, Havok, Kylie Rae, Alisha, Tasha Steelz, and either Kimber Lee or Madison Rayne will battle to see who is next in line for a title shot. A victory in the Knockouts Gauntlet Match could propel one of these competitors to stardom. A win in this match just might give one of these ladies the confidence she needs to take the next step in her career and snatch the title from the Knockouts champion.
This grueling match will certainly test the strength and endurance of the competitors involved. Size and strength can certainly be an advantage and we all know Havok has both attributes. Rosemary may have a mental edge with her propensity for mind games. All of these contenders bring something unique to the table. Former Knockouts champion Taya Valkyrie has to be considered the favorite to win based on her experience and skill, but I do not see that happening. I am giving the nod to Kylie Rae to win the Knockouts gauntlet math and earn the right to face the Knockouts champion.
Prediction: Kylie Rae wins the Knockouts Gauntlet match
Chris Bey brings puts his brash and cocky style on full display as he challenges the X division champion, Willie Mack for the title. These two could not be any more different from a personality standpoint. Mack is the humble, hardworking over achiever who has risen to the top of the division through perseverance, tenacity, and toughness.
This match also features a contrast in wrestling styles between the current champion and the challenger. Mack is a bigger more physical specimen who is deceptively agile for a man his size. Chris Bey brings a high-octane brand of athleticism to the ring which screams X division to me. Willie Mack has been a fan favorite and had to battle through the loss of his tag team partner on his way to the top of the X division. While his contributions won’t go unnoticed, I think too much Chris Bey will result in the title changing hands at Slammiversary.
Prediction: Chris Bey defeats Willie Mack and claims the X Division title
The Virtuosa, Deonna Purrazzo has returned to IMPACT wrestling and made no secret of her intention to rule the Knockouts division. Twice in successive weeks she attacked Jordynne Grace after the champion had defended her title. Purrazzo applied an arm bar to the champion on back to back episodes of Impact wrestling.
The Virtuosa seemed intent on delivering a painful message to the reigning Knockouts champion. Jordynne Grace and Deonna Purrazzo have been on a collision course ever since the Virtuosa returned to Impact.
Deonna Purrazzo might do well to heed the expression “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” as she will face off against Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts title on Saturday night. Up until now Purrazzo has be able to rely on the element of surprise to take down the champion. At Slammiversary Jordynne Grace looks to exact a measure of revenge against the newcomer for the blindsided attacks. The size, strength, and desire will prove too much for Purrazzo to overcome as she steps in the ring against Grace. This will set up a Jordynne Grace v Kylie Rae feud going forward
Prediction: Jordynne Grace defeats Purrazzo to retain the Knockouts title
Mixing of volatile chemicals can produce explosive and unpredictable results. This may be the result as Sami Callihan and The World’s Most Dangerous Man, Ken Shamrock team up to take on the IMPACT tag team champions, The North. The North have held the tag team titles for over a year and looke poised to continue that run for the foreseeable future. Enter an unlikely tag team that feeds off of chaos. Suddenly the future of the tag team division is in doubt.
I see this as a high intensity match with unmatched aggression. Ultimately, the dissension and mistrust on the part of Callihan and Shamrock will be their undoing and cost them the match. I look for the challengers to have opportunities to win the match, however I look for them to turn on each other instead. I think this will set up a single’s feud going forward between Shamrock and Callihan and allow The North to continue their reign as Impact tag team champions.
Prediction: The North defeat Shamrock and Callihan and retain the tag team titles
The title match is a four-way match between Ace Austin, Trey Miguel, Eddie Edwards, and a mystery opponent for the vacated Impact world title. There is certainly no shortage of speculation regarding the mystery opponent across social media. Will this mystery opponent be the returning champion that has been recently teased by IMPACT?
The powers that be at IMPACT have done an excellent job turning uncertainty and chaos into excitement and speculation. The vignettes have helped build the intrigue for this match. A world title match is generally the main event and has enough drama and story lines to stand on its own. IMPACT has certainly added to an already compelling match with the promise of a mystery opponent and a vacated title. Names such as Heath Slater, Anderson and Gallows, Eric Young, Curt Hawkins to name a few have been mentioned as the possible mystery opponent. Rusev was mentioned but with his announcement that he has contracted Covid-19 puts this rumor to rest.
My money for the mystery opponent is Heath Slater. While I think he makes a splash in his return to in-ring action at Slammiversary I do not think he will win the vacated world title. My money is on Ace Austin in this match.
Prediction: Ace Austin wins the title and Heath Slater is the mystery opponent.
The events of Slammiversary 2020 will certainly lay the foundation for what is next to come in IMPACT wrestling. New feuds and unlikely alliances look to be in our future as the dust settles from the promotion’s most significant pay-per-view event. I would love to read your predictions and thoughts on Slammiversary 2020.