Two days before Slammiversary, news broke announcing that Impact Wrestling would be rebranded as Global Force Wrestling. With that change waiting in the wings, Slammiversary XV became both a celebration of 15 years of Impact Wrestling and a moment in time looking forward to a bigger initiative known as GFW.
Here's what happened:
Alberto El Patron (C) def Bobby Lashley (C) Global Force Wrestling vs. Impact Wrestling title unification match
In the main event of the evening, Alberto El Patron defeated Bobby Lashley by pinfall after a double foot stomp from the top rope. Patron and Lashley delivered a solid, if not spectacular match, with a lot of back-and-forth storytelling and momentum.
What really stood out about this match was the focus on old-school, heavyweight, main-event style brawling. Lashley punished El Patron with running power slams onto the steel ring steps and stiff looking power bombs, while Patron applied arm bars to his opponent while hanging over the ropes and dished out nasty-looking super kicks while Lashley was on one knee.
The audiences both in the Impact Zone and at home could feel the intensity that these athletes brought to the moment. After Patron secured the victory, he was greeted in the ring by Jeff and Karen Jarrett, along with his father Dos Caros and a host of wrestlers and backstage officials. What followed was an emotional celebration, with Patron taking a knee and presenting both titles to his father. The show closed with Patron standing on the second rope holding up both titles.
After the match, El Patron was joined in the ring by Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarett, Dos Caras and a host of Impact/GFW officials to celebrate.
Moose and DeAngelo Williams defeat Eli Drake and Chris Adonis
In a match that is sure to be see its highlights on every sports network for the next few days, DeAngelo Williams pinned Chris Adonis after a frog splash onto a table. The only flaw in Williams' performance came when attempting that move and he slightly overshot the splash and the table did not break.
Once the match was over, Moose pulled Eli Drake back in the ring and power-bombed him through the table.
Williams showed an impressive repertoire of moves in what I would call the best performance we've ever seen from an athlete or celebrity participating in a pro wrestling match.
Braxton Sutter, Allie and Mahabali Shera defeat KM, Laurel Van Ness and Kongo Kong
On the pre-show, Braxton Sutter, Allie and Mahabali Shera defeated the team of KM, Laurel Van Ness and Kongo Kong. Braxton Sutter pinned KM with the BS Express after Allie delivered the Allie Drop. Impact Wrestling doesn't usually have pre-show matches, so just having this match here made the event feel like a bigger deal.
LAX defeats Garz Jr. and Laredo Kid, Drago and El Higo De Fantasma, and Marufuji and Ishimori to retain the GFW/Impact tag titles
The opening match of the night was a non-stop action, adrenaline rush-filled match. This match consisted of teams representing promotions from all over the world with Laredo Kid and Garza Jr. from the Crash promotion in Mexico, Drago and El Higo De Fantasma (aka King Querno on Lucha Underground) from AAA in Mexico, Marufuji and Ishimori from Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan and LAX from Impact Wrestling.
LAX retained the titles after Ortiz pinned Laredo Kid with the Street Sweeper.
Ethan Carter III defeats James Storm in a strap match
James Storm finally got his retribution for the vicious beating EC3 handed him a few weeks ago on Impact Wrestling. Storm handcuffed Carter to the ropes and whipped him more than 30 times with the leather strap that was adjoining the two combatants in this match.
After Storm beat EC3 with the strap, EC3 slid out of the ring under the bottom rope. Storm got out on the other side of the post, and EC3 yanked the strap, pulling Storm into the ring post. Both participants got back in the ring and traded One Percenters with both participants heads nailing the mat. Storm hit EC3 with a super kick and it looked like he was going to hit another super kick to win, but while waiting for his shot at the second shot, Storm fell down to one knee then collapsed on his face.
Taking advantage, EC3 delivered a double-armed brain-buster when he could've easily covered him for the win without it. After the match, Storm needed medical professionals to help him back to the locker room.
Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park defeat Josh Matthews and Scott Steiner
In the pleasant surprise of the night, Abyss (Joseph Park) pinned Josh Matthews after a Black Hole Slam onto a pile of thumbtacks. After a bit of in-ring action early, the match continued backstage at which point viewers watched a "Final Deletion"-style tape that played in the arena.
The backstage portion of the match saw the return of TNA originals Shark Boy and Father James Mitchell who would encourage Park to return to his Abyss character. When Abyss returned into the arena, he was all business and picked up the win in one of the most painful-looking moments of the night.
Eddie and Alisha Edwards defeat Davie Richards and Angelina Love (Full Metal Mayhem)
Speaking of painful moments, this match was absolutely brutal. At one point Davie Richards filled Eddie Edwards' mouth with thumbtacks and then kicked him right in the jaw. Edwards pinned Richards after a sit down power bomb through a table from the top of a ladder.
Sonjay Dutt (C) defeats Low Ki two out of three falls for the X-Division Title
Low Ki won the first fall with a double foot stomp and Sonjay won the second fall with a pin reversal. Heading into the deciding fall, this match ended with Sonjay Dutt pinning Low Ki after a moonsault into a double foot stomp. After all that the crowd had seen leading up to this match, it was clear that at this point they were simply losing steam.
Sienna (C) defeats Rosemary (C) in the GFW Women's Championship vs. Imapct Knockouts title unification match
In the first to two title unification bouts on the card, Sienna overcame Rosemary by submission. Rosemary attempted to spit her green mist at Sienna, but Sienna blocked it by putting her hand over Rosemary's face. Sienna then rubbed the mist in Rosemary's eyes, allowing her to gain the advantage and apply a guillotine front choke for the win.
After months of build up, this show delivered more than expected. The four-way opening tag match was unforgettable; DeAngelo Williams performed so well that I would be shocked if he is not back in a wrestling ring some time in the next two or three years. And while many people were dreading Borash/Park vs. Matthews/Steiner, they used that opportunity to get in some quality TV production, along with some nods to the company's past.
The GFW champions going over in the unification bouts was to be expected with the announcement of the company's rebranding and if this was the last night of Impact, we can say that through all it's ups and downs, Impact went out on a high note.