Impact Wrestling has released the introductory video clip for tonight's Slammiversary XV pay-per-view ahead of the Sunday, July 2 live broadcast. This being the 15th edition of one of the company’s flagship events, it makes sense the Anthem Entertainment-owned promotion (which may soon come to be known as GFW) would want to celebrate their history.
The only problem? Many of the stars featured in the video, and who helped write that history, now work for Vince McMahon and WWE.
The video spends more of its actual total run-time showcasing the current roster who will compete in Orlando than the faces now signed the WWE or NXT. But starting the biggest show of this big brand reboot with images of performers now associated with the competition-- like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Sting, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, R-Truth and more-- certainly doesn’t help to establish the company's separate identity.
It's worth noting there's a telling absence of Matt and Jeff Hardy, who brought a significant increase in viewership and critical attention to TNA/Impact over the past year. The brothers recently left the company on less-than-amicable terms, returning to the WWE and finding themselves in an embattled fight over the rights to their "Broken Hardy" characters and storyline aspects.
Best case scenario is the current Impact roster goes out and creates a show which has the wrestling world buzzing next week, and establishes them as a serious player in the industry who’s managed-- often to the amazement of fans and insiders-- to stick around in a tough business. Perhaps in time the company's turbulent recent history will come to be seen as a merely a rough patch, or a prologue to something greater in their global expansion as GFW.0comments
The Slammiversary XV PPV airs tonight (Sunday) at 8PM EST. Plenty of main event talent will be on display, including former WWE stars Scott Steiner, Alberto El Patron (fka Alberto Del Rio) and Bobby Lashley, who will face off in a title vs title match to unify the former TNA/Impact and GFW championships under the newly merged promotion.