On Tuesday night’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling, IMPACT Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore finally addressed the state of the IMPACT World Championship, as reigning World Champion Tessa Blanchard has not appeared on IMPACT television since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As D’Amore tried to address the situation, he was interrupted first by #1 Contender Ace Austin (who won the #1 Contender’s Tournament), then Michael Elgin (who was originally scheduled to face Tessa at IMPACT Rebellion in a triple threat), and finally by a returning Eddie Edwards, who has also been off during the pandemic lockdown (and was also scheduled for the triple threat at Rebellion). With all three staking their case to be World Champion, D’Amore made the announcement that at IMPACT Slammiversary on July 18, 2020, Tessa Blanchard will defend her World Championship in a Fatal Five-Way against Austin, Elgin, and Edwards. If you’re doing the match and realizing that only four names have been mentioned, that’s because the fifth name was revealed to be Trey Miguel, who missed out on his opportunity to be in the #1 Contenders Tournament Final when he was attacked just prior to the match.
Slammiversary: A Title Match for The Virtuosa?
While no other matches were announced for IMPACT Slammiversary, we may have gotten a look at the potential Knockouts Championship match for the event. Following a hard-fought Knockouts title defense, Jordynne Grace was greeted by the eventual arrival of Deonna Purrazzo, who initially seemed to be looking to introduce herself in a friendly manner to the current Knockouts champ. But Purrazzo quickly turned the handshake into a vicious Fujiwara Armbar, letting Jordynne know that not only is Purrazzo here in IMPACT Wrestling, but she’s gunning straight for the top.
Slammiversary: Which Free Agents Are Coming?
Following IMPACT on IMPACT AfterShock, the post-show wrap-up and discussion featuring IMPACT Executive Vice President Don Callis and Jimmy Jacobs, Callis threw some heavy innuendo into the speculation of which free agents could be heading to IMPACT at Slammiversary, following the video that’s been airing for the past week hinting we may see some of those “free agents” arrive at the big event. When asked by Jacobs who he wanted to see in IMPACT, Don Callis hinted that “sometimes an entity is two people”, alluding to the tag team of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows that had previously been rumored due to Scott D’Amore calling their podcast several weeks back. Gallows previously competed for IMPACT Wrestling from 2012 to 2013 as D.O.C. (Director of Chaos) for Aces & Eights before heading to New Japan to partner with Anderson in Bullet Club.
Impact EVP Scott D’Amore makes an accidental appearance on the Gallows and Anderson podcast “Talkin Shop”. Sure sounds to me like they may be negotiating. pic.twitter.com/6yp6S3If74
— The Combat Republic (@combatrepublic) May 11, 2020
As Rohit Raju continues to pester Rhino, Rohit suggested that perhaps Rhino needs a tag team partner. Rhino mentioned to Raju that he already had a tag team partner…and he’s got kids, an obvious reference to his former SmackDown Tag Team Champion partner Heath Slater, who was part of the cuts on WWE’s Black Wednesday.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 10, 2020
As for some of the other names involved in the video hype package about the “free agents”, for the IMPACT throwback moment on Tuesday, it featured a video of “The Miracle” Mike Bennett (with his wife Maria Kanellis) calling on EC3 for a match at Slammiversary 2016 (before heading into his challenge to Earl Hebner). EC3 has been suspected as being the hooded character watching the news on the television, similar to the hoodie he’s been wearing in recent Social Media videos. He also released a video that took elements of the IMPACT video that did little to dull the rumors.
— I|I essential character I|I (@therealec3) June 5, 2020
On the subject of free agents, at the end of IMPACT on Tuesday night, a scene was shown where Michael Elgin was on his cellphone talking to someone, and Elgin is heard saying “You know us Canadians, we’ve always been team players.” Elgin could have been talking to former IMPACT World Champion Eric Young, referencing Canadians previously teaming up together in Team Canada. Could a new Team Canada be on the horizon?
"You know us Canadians, we've always been team players."
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 10, 2020
Meanwhile, former WWE Superstar Rusev – who has been going by Miro (short for Miroslav) of late – also recently responded to his name being thrown about, as a Bulgarian flag was featured in the video. During a Twitch video speaking in his native Bulgarian, Miro was asked about his “appearance” in the IMPACT video, with Rusev answering that he only saw a Bulgarian flag and maybe it was another wrestler from Bulgaria heading to IMPACT. When Callis asked Jacobs who he himself would like to see come to IMPACT, Jacobs mentioned two talents he felt were underutilized during his own time with WWE as a writer, with one of the guys “that did the conga line” (No Way Jose) and the other being the “guy that did some singing” (Aiden English). We’ll just have to wait until Saturday July 18 to see which of the free agents actually show up in IMPACT Wrestling.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch IMPACT every Tuesday on AXS-TV and see past episodes of IMPACT Wrestling on IMPACT+.