Impact Wrestling has released the “cold open” (or introductory video clip) for their Slammiversary XV pay-per-view (PPV) ahead of the Sunday, July 2 live broadcast.
As the “XV” part of the show’s title indicates, this is the 15th edition of one of the company’s flagship events. As such, it makes sense the Anthem Entertainment-owned promotion would want to celebrate their history.
Problem is... much of the roster who helped write that history now work for Vince McMahon and WWE.
There’s not really much of a way around it, and it’s a really good video. Narrated by their long-time voice-over specialist Barry Scott (of “Cross the Line” fame), it establishes them as a player who’s managed - often to the amazement of fans and industry insiders - to stick around in a tough business. And it spends more time hyping the current roster who will compete in Orlando this weekend than the faces you recognize from recent Raw, SmackDown and NXT episodes.
But when most folks who watch wrestling think of you as “WWE Lite”... starting the biggest show of your 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 others (there’s a telling lack of Hardys, though) doesn’t do anything to change that perception.
Best case scenario is the current Impact roster goes out and creates a show which has the wrestling world buzzing next week, and their history can truly be looked at as prologue to something else.
We’ll find out on Sunday night.