Slammiversary is a staple pay-per-view for IMPACT Wrestling. The event celebrates the anniversary of IMPACT Wrestling’s (formerly known as TNA Wrestling) first event in June of 2002. This year’s event is promising to change the landscape of the promotion. Let’s take a look back at some notable main event matches and surprises from Slammiversary’s past.
Although not promoted under the Slammiversary name, the event celebrated the two-year anniversary of TNA Wrestling. The event featured two marquee matches from wrestlers that became staples of TNA Wrestling. A.J. Styles defended his X-Division Title in a match against Jeff Hardy. This was Hardy’s debut in the promotion and was a surprise opponent for Styles. The match ended in a no-contest when Kid Kash and Dallas (AKA Lance Archer) interfered in the match attacking both men.
The main event of the show featured Jeff Jarrett against Ron “The Truth” Killings (AKA R-Truth) for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Jarrett captured the title from Killings in the first-ever King of the Mountain match at NWA-TNA PPV #97. Killings got his one on one rematch under the stipulation that if Jarrett was disqualified he would lose the title. The match ended in a no contest allowing Jarrett to retain his title.
King of the Mountain
TNA/IMPACT Wrestling often featured a specialty match at Slammiversary. The King of the Mountain match, a TNA original match. The match requires wrestlers to climb a ladder to retrieve a title belt to win the match. TNA added a twist to the traditional ladder match in that you must score a pinfall or submission to be eligible to climb the ladder. Wrestlers that are pinned or submitted spend two minutes in a penalty box-like cage, putting them at a disadvantage. Let’s look at some notable Slammiversary King of the Mountain matches.
The first event promoted under the Slammiversary name was main evented by a King of the Mountain match. A.J. Styles entered the match as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Abyss, Monty Brown, Sean Waltman, and Raven all challenged Styles in the match. Raven won the match after pinning Styles in the second fall of the match to be eligible to climb the ladder. He took the first pinfall of the match from Monty Brown and bounced back to capture the title.
Raven was suspended in the lead-up to the match for putting his hands on Larry Zbyszko for not making him a wild card entrant into the King of the Mountain match. Raven was suspended and quit TNA Wrestling before returning to enter the King of the Mountain match. This was Raven’s first and only King of the Mountain victory and NWA World Heavyweight Championship run.
The main event for the 2007 edition of Slammiversary featured a King of the Mountain match for the inaugural TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, Christian Cage, and Chris Harris all competed to be the first TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Only Harris, Angle, and Cage scored a fall to be eligible to climb the ladder and capture the title. Kurt Angle then climbed the ladder and pulled down the title becoming the inaugural TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Angle went on to win the King of the Mountain match again at Slammiversary 2009. He won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship six times total in his career and became a cornerstone of the promotion through the 2000s and 2010s.
The 2015 edition of Slammiversary reactivated the King of the Mountain Title. The title had been renamed a few times being introduced as the Legends Championship in 2008. Eric Young renamed the title the TNA Global Championship on the October 29, 2009 edition of TNA Impact!. The title was then renamed again in December of 2010 to TNA Television Title. Abyss won the television title at Slammiversary XI however, the title was not defended or mentioned during his reign. TNA Executive Director Kurt Angle declared the tile deactivated on July 3, 2014.
The title was reactivated and named the King of the Mountain Title for Slamiversary 2015. This marked the first time the King of the Mountain match would be held since Slammiversary 2009. TNA founder Jeff Jarrett made a surprise return to IMPACT on the June 24th episode where he announced the match and his participation in it. Bobby Roode, Matt Hardy, Eric Young, and Drew Galloway (AKA Drew McIntyre). Jarrett won the match and held the title for 29 days before vacating it to become the TNA general manager. The title was retired in 2016 with Lashley being the last man to hold the belt.
IMPACT Slammiversary 2017
Slammiversary 2017 was billed under the title of Slammiversary XV and celebrated 15 years of IMPACT Wrestling. In the lead-up to the event, Karen Angle announced the merger IMPACT Wrestling with Global Force Wrestling. Alberto El Patrón represented Global Force Wrestling against Lashley in the main event of the show that unified the titles. Alberto defeated Lashley in the main event and unified the IMPACT Wrestling World Heavyweight and GFW Global Championships. He defeated Magnus on IMPACT a couple of months prior to become the GFW champion, earning the right to face Lashley and unify the belts. Jeff Jarrett left IMPACT a few months after Slammiversary and resumed running shows under the GFW at the end of 2017. This caused IMPACT to drop the GFW name, ending the merger between the two companies.
IMPACT Wrestling Slammiversary 2020
IMPACT Wrestling promised that Slammiversary 2020 would change the landscape of the promotion. They delivered as the promotion saw the return of former stars in the promotion, and multiple title changes take place. The first match saw The Motor City Machine Guns return to answer the call put out by The Rascalz. Deonna Purrazzo also returned to IMPACT earlier in the year and defeated Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts Championship during the event.
The main event promised a surprise return as Eddie Edwards, Ace Austin, and Trey Miguel awaited the mystery fourth person to compete for the vacant IMPACT World Championship. Rich Swann answered the call making his return to the ring after suffering a knee injury, declaring his spot in the match. The match quickly became a five-way match as Eric Young made his return to the promotion and entered himself in the match. Eddie Edwards walked out of Slammiversary as the champion, but the surprises were not over yet. Just as the show was about to go off the air a vignette teasing the return of EC3 aired.
Looking Ahead to IMPACT Slammiversary 2021
IMPACT Wrestling is once again promising a change in the landscape for this year’s Slammiversary. Kenny Omega will defend the IMPACT World title against Sami Callihan in the main event of the show. Deonna Purrazzo will also defend her title against a mystery opponent. Find out what IMPACT has in store for us when Slammiversary returns on July 17 live on pay-per-view.
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, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch IMPACT Wrestling on Thursday nights on AXS TV and Twitch.TV as well as all the time on IMPACT Plus.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!