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Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2023 HOT TAKE

July 10, 2023

Anniversary, definition: The annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years.

Slammiversary, definition: The annual recurrence of a date marking action, violence, drama as produced by Impact Wrestling held in jubilation of the promotion marking another year of Total Nonstop Action.

Slammiversary 2023, definition: The one in a lifetime celebration of twenty years of slams, jams, drama, adrenaline and culture changing as seen through the prism of Impact Wrestling, past, present and future

In the world of professional wrestling, chaos reigns. Grudges fester and explode. Rivalries evolve into hatred. Championship reigns are almost always on the brink of disaster. It's the nature of the game and it's the world that those brave enough to enter live with. Such is the life of a professional wrestler, where being just a millimeter off the mark can bring you to the brink of disaster and where the only thing that matches the physical exertion you put into your bouts is the emotional roller coaster you ride leading into and out of the ring.

Slammiversary: A Night of Majestic Wrestling

Yet, despite all that turmoil, it is nights like Slammiversary that all competitors inside the square circle crave - a night where everything majestic about professional wrestling is presented. A night where all roads and careers intersect and those victorious live on in infamy, immortalized forever in the annals of combat sports history, forever past of the time capsule. Indeed, on Saturday July 15th, Impact Wrestling returns yet again to FITE, emanating from the fighting town of Windsor, Ontario for the 2023 edition of Slammiversary, celebrating the past, present and future of all things Impact.

Alex Shelley vs. Nick Aldis

Headlining this celebration is the most important Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship defense to date for Alex Shelley. The technical wrestling wizard has defeated Steve Maclin to gain and retain the championship, but now finds himself facing the biggest test to date for his title reign in former Impact Wrestling and NWA World Champion Nick Aldis. Since returning to Impact, the National Treasure has done nothing less than excel at ascending into championship contention, bypassing every competitor he has stepped in the ring with. Aldis has carried the Ten Pounds of Gold in the past, bringing the NWA title back into prominence and is now infatuated with returning to the top of the pyramid within Impact Wrestling.

Shelley's technical prowess has never, ever been questioned and he's been in the top 1% of professional wrestlers from an in-ring standpoint for most of his career, but against Aldis, he finds an entirely new foe to face. Aldis himself is supremely gifted technically as well but also far larger, putting Shelley into a unique underdog position of having to really battle against someone he will have to wear down not just with grappling technique and skills, but also sheer physicality.

The first competitor here to make a strategic error will likely be the one walking out the loser. Undoubtedly, this will be another classic Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship match, continuing the tradition launched by AJ Styles, Christian Cage, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and so many others, but the question remains. Can Shelley counteract Aldis' height and reach advantages or will the dream championship run of Michigan's finest athlete come to a nightmarish conclusion in Canada? FITE fans will learn the answer to that riddle live!

Deonna Purrazzo vs. Trinity

A true dream match wll indeed unfold live on FITE this Saturday as for the first time in their careers, the reigning Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Champion Deonna Purrazzo will battle Trinity. Since coming to Impact, Trinity has sincerely brought the glow, radiating inside the ring with spectacular performances that have wowed the Impact faithful as she racked up victory after victory. Now, she faces her greatest singles competition to date, not just in Impact but her entire career as she steps into the ring with The Virtuosa in Windsor at Slammiversary.

Purrazzo, fresh off ending her long-standing rivalry against Jordynn Grace and coming off a big victory against Gisele Shaw in Australia, has never looked stronger inside the ring, having mastered just about every style of professional wrestling and proving herself again and again as one of the most versatile competitors in the world. She's never been complacent and enters this battle hungry to again prove herself as the best in the world.

This battle of two of Impact's most beloved and respected Knockouts may come down to which of the competitors loses their cool inside the ring if they become frustrated by their opposition. While they have teamed in the past and are obviously intimately familiar with the other, they've never locked up against each other, so there are infinite possibilities in terms of what direction this clash could flow, and the only way to see history made is to watch Slammiversary Saturday July 15th on FITE!

Scott D'Amore Returns to the Ring

Perhaps the most emotional battle of the night will see Windsor's own Scott D'Amore return to the ring, having cast aside his position as the President of Impact in order to settle a score the old fashioned way, with his fists. The one time leader of Team Canada steps out of retirement to team with perhaps the most dangerous and unique Canadian competitor of all time PCO to battle the scourge of former Impact Wrestling World Champions Bully Ray and Steve Maclin, united in their bitterness and venom towards the world at large.

Since returning to Impact, Ray has made it his mission in life to not only unravel the fabric of the promotion, but to make everyone who holds Impact Wrestling dear to their heart absolutely miserable, torturing them for his own inability to capture the World title once again. Aligning himself with the vicious Maclin, who specializes in breaking down opponents en route to destroying them, Ray has found a kindred spirit, one who enjoys the misery of others. It's as if Darth Vader and Freddy Krueger have united to destroy the entire galaxy.

Luckily for D'Amore, the French Frankenstein, The Perfect Creation One, PCO has risen to stand alongside him in this battle for the very soul of Impact Wrestling. The world traveled former ROH World Champion has decimated his very body in pursuit of the destruction of others, just out of competition, so one can imagine what he's willing to endure for vengeance against Ray and Maclin, who have not only smashed him through tables but willingly set him ablaze and smothered him in battery acid. PCO has long been an indestructible soul, but even for him, this has to be a frightening battlefield.

Slammiversary will be a night where the legacy of Scott D'Amore is truly made forever. As an executive, he's shepherded Impact from the brink of disaster back to a promotion celebrated by discerning professional wrestling fans. As a wrestler, his career was always secondary to his work as a coach, a trainer and a manager. At Slammiversary, there's no executive privilege, no Team Canada, nothing standing between him and two of the most dangerous former World Champions in company history. Should D'Amore stand tall, much less victorious in his hometown of Windsor, it will have been one of the most momentous feats of his career - but Bully Ray and Steve Maclin have made their own careers out of crushing the hope from the lives of competitors and fans alike. Slammiversary will tell the tale of whether darkness or hope prevails in Impact Wrestling.

Impact Wrestling Tag Team Championship and More!

The Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions ABC, Chris Bey and Ace Austin, have been in the zone in recent months, proving themselves as one of the most adept, gifted tandems in recent Impact Wrestling history. Hot off a victory over the Motor City Machine Guns in Australia, they march into Slammiversary with the biggest chip possible on their shoulder, something they will need to utilize alongside all of the athletic might and double-team maneuvers in their arsenal as they battle one of the most dangerous combinations of challengers in one match imaginable.

UK greats Subculture have already battled ABC to the brink, but now add in the technical greatness of Brian Myers as he's aligned with the monstrous Moose, the aerial assault greatness of Rich Swann combined with the out of control chaos of Sami Callihan and now the reunited Rascalz of Trey Miguel and Zach Wentz, all in the same ring at the same time. Austin and Bey have proven themselves as one of the most perfect tag teams of 2023, but can even these Bullet Club members overcome the numbers game of so many distinct, different competitors at once? If they can, they truly are as golden as the championship belts they proudly carry. Slammiversary will prove it all.

In a very short time since he has exploded on the scene within Impact Wrestling, world traveled antagonist Lio Rush has brought the fire to the X-Division, enraging nine-time champion Chris Sabin. Aligning himself with Nick Aldis, Rush has not only infuriated Sabin, but has also scored a pinfall victory over him on Impact on AXS last week. This led to Sabin challenging Rush to face him for the title at Slammiversary, putting it all on the line for the world to see. Sabin may be one of the most celebrated athletes in all of Impact history but from New Japan to MLW to WWE and back, Rush has always shattered the glass ceiling and shocked the world time and time again with his success. Driven by arrogance and pure physical prowess, could Rush make Impact Wrestling history on one of the biggest nights of the Impact calendar?

No matter which man emerges the X-Division Champion, the shadow of the Ultimate X will have loomed over that championship showdown as once again, the extreme daredevil environment will have been erected over the ring as some of the best pure professional athletes in the world will battle in and above the squared circle, seeking to ascend to victory and a future X-Division Championship match.

New Japan Pro Wrestling's KUSHIDA, the celebrated Speedball Mike Bailey, The Design's Angels, the ever-adept wrestling perfectionist Jonathan Gresham and Kevin Knight, who has shown he's a hair away from breaking out as combat sports' next great professional wrestling prospect will all battle in an attempt to make it to the crisscrossing wires above the ring, seeking to make it to the center to claim victory.

With so many over-excelling athletes all battling for victory and willing to take the most insane risks for themselves to do so, imagine what they are willing to do to each other? Impact Wrestling's most celebrated addition to the professional wrestling pantheon returns at Slammiversary - the Ultimate X, live on FITE!

In a promotion where so many incredible in-ring contests take place consistently, it is not unusual to see great competitions evolve into heated grudge matches, but in the case of acclaimed veterans Eddie Edwards and Frankie Kazarian, their recent matches have gone beyond just competitions and grudge matches. Their recent series of bouts have seen incredible physical action marred by Alesha Edwards' distractions and intrusions as she has assisted her husband, the former Impact Wrestling World Champion, to victory. Having had enough of the chaos, Kazarian has decided to fight fire with fire. At Slammiversary, when he and Edwards face off for the third time, Kazarian has enlisted his wife, Knockouts pioneer Traci Brooks to be in his corner to counteract Edwards. This generational clash of Knockouts stars sets the stage for Kazarian vs. Edwards III, live on FITE!

Additional championship matches are also slated for Slammiversary on July 15th. Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry will indeed appear when challenger Kenny King, accompanied by Sheldon Jean, looks to win the title. Hendry has held a strong grip over the title since running Matt Cardona out of Impact, but can he upend one of the most competitive wrestlers he's ever stepped into the ring with?

Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Champions The Coven have always cast a spell over their challengers, but even their supernatural ways may be outmatched by the sheer insanity and brutality of newfound frenemies Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly. The challengers spent recent weeks beating the living hell out of each other and loving it, so what happens when they get the chance to work together to beat the hell out of the champions?

Impact Wrestling's Director of Authority Santino Marella will don the singlet and bring the cobra to the ring on July 15th as he seeks vengeance against Dirty Dango, who was revealed as his attacker from several months ago. Dango has been disrespectful to the nth degree towards Impact Wrestling, its fans and other competitors since shedding his skin and showing his true colors, so it's on Marella to make him pay for his crimes against professional wrestling.

Slammiversary has always been an event where Impact Wrestling fans can wave their flag of loyalty for the promotion high and mighty, a celebration that dates back to June 2002 when Impact began their total nonstop run of action and excitement across the professional wrestling world. On July 15th, FITE once again invites fans to step into one of the most explosive celebrations for all of combat sport and everything that makes the drama and excitement of professional wrestling special and fun - Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2023!

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.