An event twenty years in the making! Returns, nostalgia, title changes and more in this event. This week, The Main Event Podcast reviews IMPACT Wrestling Slammiversary 2022.
The Factory (QT Marshall and Aaron Solo) vs. Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi)
The first action on the Buy In saw The Factory (QT Marshall and Aaron Solo) take on Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi). The action was fairly traditional at first but after QT Marshall delivered the QT Special to the outside, The Factory took over control. Marshall got cocky though and, in mocking his opponent, he allowed the hot tag to Yoshi-Hashi and he got a nearfall with a neckbreaker. He found himself surprised by Aaron Solo, though, and fell victim to a Diamond Cutter from QT. The tag to Goto allowed Bishamon to hit the Ushigoroshi on Marshall and follow it up with the Shoto to Solo to pick up New Japan’s first win of the night.
Jez’s Pick: Bishamon
Dan’s Pick: Bishamon
Jez 1 – Dan 1
Nick Comoroto vs. Lance Archer
In a late addition to the card, Nick Comoroto went one-on-one with Lance Archer. As Comoroto confronted Archer on the ring apron, the Murderhawk Monster delivered a less than perfect cannonball to begin the match. The pair quickly opened up on each other with stiff chops but the stiffer striking of Comoroto allowed him to take over the contest for a time. Despite being the bigger man, Archer used his athleticism to get back into the match and got a nearfall after a moonsault. Archer went for the Blackout a few times and, on the third attempt, was able to nail it and pick up the win.
Jez’s Pick: N/A
Dan’s Pick: N/A
Winner: Lance Archer
Jez 1 – Dan 1
Swerve in our Glory (Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Next up, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee took on El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. The match began with a proposed test of strength between Lee and Kanemaru but the smaller Kanemaru smartly thought better of it and attacked Lee instead. Desperado and Swerve tagged in and the pace of the match picked up. Desperado took control and so Lee was tagged back in but Suzuki-gun began to systematically target the knee of the Limitless one. Keith was locked in the Figure Four Leg Lock but he used the body of his opponent, Desperado, to break up the hold. Kanemaru tried to capitalise after spitting whiskey in the face of Keith Lee but Lee rallied, hit the Jackhammer and collected a hard fought victory.
Jez’s Pick: Suzuki-gun
Dan’s Pick: Swerve in our Glory
Winner: Swerve in our Glory
Jez 1 – Dan 2
Gunn Club (Billy, Austin and Colten Gunn) and Max Caster (with Anthony Bowens) vs. Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin, The DKC, and Kevin Knight
The last match of the Buy In saw the Gunn Club and Max Caster battle Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin, The DKC and Kevin Knight from the New Japan L.A. Dojo. Before the match, Danhausen appeared on the screen with a gift for Austin and Colten Gunn – a special Ass Boys entrance music. The Gunns were not fans and took off backstage in search of the Very Nice, Very Evil one. In the ring, Coughlin delivered a huge Fall Away Slam to Billy Gunn and got a near fall on Caster. The L.A. Dojo capitalised on their man advantage, double teaming Billy and Max throughout but after Gunn hit the Fameasser, Caster delivered the Mic Drop and were able to pick up the win.
Jez’s Pick: Gunn Club and Max Caster
Dan’s Pick: Gunn Club and Max Caster
Winner: Gunn Club and Max Caster
Jez 2 – Dan 3
Man advantage for Blood and Guts – Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) and Minoru Suzuki (with Tay Conti) vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino
The Forbidden Door pay-per-view got underway with Le Sex Gods and Minoru Suzuki taking on Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino to determine the man advantage for AEW Blood and Guts. The match kicked off with Wheeler Yuta taking the veteran, Chris Jericho, to school with a succession of slaps and German Suplexes. Yuta locked in the Crossface but, as Sammy Guevara broke it up, all hell broke loose. As the match progressed, Minoru Suzuki and Eddie Kingston met in the middle of the ring and after Kingston’s Machine Gun Chops failed, Suzuki dropped him with a massive forearm. Suzuki continued to wear down Kingston as his teammates kept the other men at bay. With Kingston supposedly neutralised, the action in the ring turned to Jericho and Umino but when Jericho went for the Lionsault, Kingston struck from outside the ring. This allowed Umino to lock in the Walls of Jericho on its owner but Suzuki broke it up. Umino built momentum and took down Minoru and Sammy but that momentum came to a screeching halt with the Judas Effect and Jericho picked up the win to give his team the advantage at Blood and Guts. Later in the night, the Jericho Appreciation Society cornered Shota Umino backstage and Jericho launched a fireball into his face.
Jez’s Pick: Le Sex Gods/Suzuki
Dan’s Pick: Le Sex Gods/Suzuki
Winner: Le Sex Gods/Suzuki
Jez 3 – Dan 4
ROH World Tag Team Championship and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship – FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (c-ROH) vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb) (c-IWGP) vs. Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero)
The first battle for gold was for a lot of gold in the winner take all match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with FTR, United Empire and Roppongi Vice all looking to walk out with it all. The match began with frequent tags between all the teams but the first advantage, or rather disadvantage, came when Dax Harwood was taken away from the ring to investigate a shoulder injury. This allowed Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb to make tags between themselves and isolate Cash Wheeler. Reluctantly, Wheeler tagged in Trent Beretta and Roppongi Vice were able to wrest control of the match from United Empire. Wheeler tagged back in and the beatdown resumed but Dax Harwood made his way back to the ring for the save. FTR and Roppongi Vice started to work together, at times, to deal with the much larger Cobb and O-Khan but once they succeeded in taking out United Empire, FTR hit Bigg Rigg and pinned Rocky Romero to retain the ROH Tag Titles and become the NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
Jez’s Pick: FTR
Dan’s Pick: FTR
Jez 4 – Dan 5
AEW All-Atlantic Championship – PAC vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors
The next match was to crown an inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion with Clark Connors, Pac, Malakai Black and Miro all vying for the crown. In the early going, Connors and Miro went to war followed by old rivals PAC and Malakai Black. After Miro violently dealt with Connors, he argued with Black as to who would get the opportunity to fight PAC. Miro got the better of the exchange but when he lined up a Superkick on the Bastard, he instead ate a kick of his own. Black set up a table at ringside and put Miro through it after help from PAC and the ringpost. Once Miro was back in the ring, a Stack Superplex was delivered with PAC at the bottom and God’s Favourite Champion followed it up with The Accolade. PAC was about to tap but Black filled Miro’s face with the Black Mist. Black locked the Cross Arm Breaker on Connors put PAC interrupted it with the Black Arrow and followed it up with the Brutaliser, which forced Connors to tap out.
Jez’s Pick: Miro
Dan’s Pick: Malakai Black
Jez 4 – Dan 5
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo and The Young Bucks) with Hikuleo vs. Dudes with Attitudes (Darby Allin, Sting and Shingo Takagi)
Next up was the Trios Tag Team match with Bullet Club taking on the new Dudes with Attitudes. Before the match, Sting’s music played but he did not enter. However, once the Young Bucks and Phantasmo had made their entrance, Sting appeared and took down the Bullet Club with a dive from the top of the entrance tunnel. As the match began, this translated into initial dominance by Sting and Co but the Young Bucks took down Darby Allin with a big dive outside the ring. What followed was a series of heavily built up Dermus Removers… make of that what you will… and the Club triple teamed Allin in the corner. Shingo Takagi took the momentum back for his team before Sting tagged in, nailed some Stinger Splashes and was about to lock in the Scorpion Death Lock until Hikuleo jumped to the apron for the distraction. The Bucks Superkicked Sting and he no-sold it but, later on, a triple Superkick did the job. With El Phantasmo alone in the ring, Shingo delivered Last of the Dragon to pick up the win for his team.
Jez’s Pick: Bullet Club
Dan’s Pick: Bullet Club
Winner: Dudes with Attitudes
Jez 4 – Dan 5
AEW Women’s World Championship – Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm
The next match was the AEW Women’s World Championship match with Toni Storm challenging Thunder Rosa for the belt. The opening portion of the competition was extremely technical with a lot of mat based wrestling and submissions from both ladies. The match then became progressively more aggressive with both women laying in slightly unsporting shots to each other. The champion went on the offensive and secured a couple of nearfalls on Storm but she grew frustrated that she couldn’t put her challenger away. This continued despite a Death Valley Driver and a Fire Thunder Driver from Rosa but after she delivered Dustin Rhodes’ Final Reckoning, she was able to pick up the win and retain her Women’s World Championship.
Jez’s Pick: Toni Storm
Dan’s Pick: Toni Storm
Winner: Thunder Rosa
Jez 4 – Dan 5
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship – Will Ospreay (c) vs. Orange Cassidy
Attention then turned to the battle of Orange Cassidy and Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. Cassidy began the match with his hands in his pockets which immediately drew the ire of the Brit. Ospreay got cocky as he began to wear down Cassidy and soon took exception to the boos of the Chicago crowd. He continued to put on a wrestling exhibition as he beat down Orange but all of the offense he could muster was not enough to put the challenger down for three. When Cassidy once again put his hands in his pockets and delivered his trademark kicking offense, this got under the skin of Ospreay and he started to make mistakes. Will went for the Osscutter but Cassidy stepped away from it before countering into a Stundog Millionaire and following up with the Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. Ospreay surprised Cassidy with a Spanish Fly and followed up with the Cheeky Nandos Kick. Orange followed this up with a surprise of his own and hit the Beach Break but he too only got a two count. The pair exchanged insanely close nearfalls until Ospreay hit the Stormbreaker and finally pinned Cassidy to retain the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. After the match, Ospreay and Aussie Open continued the beatdown of Orange Cassidy but he was saved by Roppongi Vice and… Katsuyori Shibata!
Jez’s Pick: Will Ospreay
Dan’s Pick: Will Ospreay
Winner: Will Ospreay
Jez 5 – Dan 6
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TBA
The next match was full of intrigue as Zack Sabre Jr would face off against the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club, the debuting Claudio Castagnoli. The man formerly known as Cesaro struck fast at the bell, delivering a European Uppercut and a Gotch Neutraliser to get a very close nearfall. Sabre tried to recover outside the ring but Castagnoli kept on the offense and used the guard rails to continue the beating. Sabre caught Claudio in the ropes and delivered a pair of submission moves to wear down the vertical base of the debuting Swissman. He followed this up with some manipulation of the arms and hands of Castagnoli and got under the skin of his opponent with insulting kicks and slaps. Claudio delivered an insult of his own, laying in a Big Swing on his third attempt. The pair traded big shots that they invited from one another until Claudio laid in a gigantic Lariat and followed it up with the Recoil to pick up the win in his AEW debut.
Jez’s TBA: Jonathan Gresham
Dan’s TBA: Claudio Castagnoli
Jez’s Pick: TBA-Claudio Castagnoli
Dan’s Pick: TBA-Claudio Castagnoli
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Jez 6 – Dan 8
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship – “Switchblade” Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Adam Cole
In the first World Championship match of the night, Jay White defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Adam Cole, “Hangman” Adam Page and Kazuchika Okada. At the start of the match, White and Cole checked out and, after a handshake, Page and Okada were set to begin the match but they were jumped by White and Cole after their fakeout. The pair teamed to Suplex “Hangman” on the ramp and chop raw the chest of Okada in the ring. The double teaming continued until Okada was able to take care of Cole and White momentarily, sending them over the guard rail and following up with a crossbody. It wasn’t long after this that Cole turned on “Switchblade” and the fight was on between the two. This allowed the champion to be isolated and after two Buckshot Lariats, Okada had to break up the pin to keep the match alive. Okada went for the Rainmaker on Cole but he countered it and fell to the mat. This allowed Jay White to return to the ring, hit the Blade Runner on Okada and pin the prone Adam Cole to retain his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
Jez’s Pick: “Hangman” Adam Page
Dan’s Pick: Jay White
Winner: Jay White
Jez 6 – Dan 9
Interim AEW World Championship – Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
In the main event, Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi went one-on-one to determine an Interim AEW World Champion. The match began fairly technically but when Tanahashi played the air guitar in celebration, this pissed off Moxley and the match became more physical. When the match spilled to ringside, Moxley put Tanahashi through a table with a Urinagi. Back in the ring, Tanahashi was able to lay in boots on Mox and this busted him open. He followed it up with a dive from the top turnbuckle to the outside of the ring. As the blood flowed heavily from Moxley’s skull, Tanahashi hit Aces High and High Fly but Mox kicked out and rolled over into the Bulldog Sleeper Hold. The Ace escaped not only this but another deep Sleeper Hold but the Death Rider from Mox was enough to keep Tanahashi down for three and become the Interim AEW World Champion. After the match, the Jericho Appreciation Society came to the ring to get a head start on Blood and Guts but after Mox’s teammates came to the ring, they fought off J.A.S. and stood tall in the middle of the ring.
Jez’s Pick: Hiroshi Tanahashi
Dan’s Pick: Jon Moxley
Winner: Jon Moxley
Jez 6 – Dan 10
Dan awards 3.5 out of 5 No Longer Forbidden Doors
Jez awards 3 out of 5 No Longer Forbidden Doors
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