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Impact Slammiversary surprise talent report card: EC3, Good Brothers, Heath, MCMG, EY, and more

Impact heavily hyped Slammiversary with the tease of surprise talent. It was going to change their world. Let’s break down the list of who actually showed up at Slammiversary and grade for value and execution of their appearance.

Over the weeks, direct references were made about Health Slater, EC3, Johnny Swinger’s buddy that worked for (Vince) Jr., D’lo Brown with Aces & Eights, Good Brothers, Super Eric (Young), a former World Champion that isn’t alone, and a fourth man with a contract.

In addition, images have flashed of James Storm, Bully Ray, Chris Sabin, Kurt Angle, Sting, Amazing Red, Gail Kim, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Ken Anderson, Curt Hawkins, and flags of Bulgaria, Canada, and Japan. There may be a few others that I missed naming. Those image montages are quick.

Slammiversary opened with a recap vignette and the addition of two little kids being scared for some reason. I guess that was foreshadowing for Eric Young?

All total, there were 7 fresh faces and 2 returns already on the roster.

EC3 - Value: A, Execution: D

EC3 is the one name of the bunch that is the most intriguing. He has high potential for shock value, in a good way. Ratings should boost when EC3 is on TV. At Slammiversary, his appearance was sort of a disappointment. It felt like a 99% certainty that he would return to Impact. Waiting until the last minute of the show backfired a little, in my opinion. It is cool to know EC3 is with Impact, but it lacked sizzle. He didn’t do anything or say anything that ignites excitement. The little scene didn’t make Slammiversary any better, in my opinion. Of course, I’ll tune in Tuesday for Impact TV, but that’s more for his name value than what occurred at Slammiversary.

EC3 has been announced for Tuesday. It doesn’t appear to be a cheery return.

Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows as the Good Brothers - Value: A, Execution: C

The Good Brothers announced signing with Impact at the stroke of midnight, so their presence was not a surprise. At the big show, they came out to save new champ Eddie Edwards. It was standard stuff to align them as babyfaces, for now.

Eric Young - Value: A, Execution: B

Eric Young is a fan favorite for Impact aficionados. His performance in the main event showed he can still hang at the top. Young was rough, tough, and full of guff. One critique is that he reminded me too much of Sami Callihan. Both use a piledriver. Both sound similar. Both are oddball crazy. I’m curious to see how EY sets himself apart with this current character.

Rich Swann - Value: B, Execution: C

Rich Swann was hot when Impact had live crowds. He would have gotten a nice pop had there been fans in attendance at Slammiversary. In the main event, Swann was electric and fought with heart. That’s what got him over in the first place. The execution was a little odd. How did he get into the title match? When Swann lost, it was because Young smashed his leg with a chair. Does that mean Swann is injured again? In the real world, he would not be physically ready to confront Young by Tuesday on TV.

Heath Slater - Value: B, Execution: B

Heath was a nice surprise. The story was a good tease. He’s not actually signed and just showed up. Scott D’Amore then kicked him out due to coronavirus precautions. Now, we have to root for him to earn that contract so he can feed his kids.

Katie Forbes - Value: D, Execution: C

Forbes is RVD’s girlfriend, in case the name doesn’t ring a bell. She was an unannounced entrant into the Knockouts #1 contender gauntlet. The reason why I bother mentioning Forbes on this list is because her storyline was canceled when Joey Ryan was fired. Forbes and RVD were core pieces in Ryan’s group, Cancel Culture. She had covered up her body. Not anymore. Forbes let it all out. It looks like she’s back to her old self. That should mean RVD is too. That makes me happy. He didn’t fit in Cancel Culture anyway.

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley as the Motor City Machine Guns - Value: B, Execution: A

Returning stars are always cool. I could see giving the Motor City Machine Guns an A in value for those that watched Impact during their heyday. Sabin and Shelley are a great addition and will bolster the tag team division. This was a perfect surprise. Impact made it seem like a lock for the Good Brothers to answer the Rascalz’ open challenge. Then MCMG answered the call instead. For those that recognized their music, a huge pop was in order. MCMG rocked the ring in victory and were rewarded with a tag title shot against The North on Tuesday for TV. The night couldn’t have gone any better for Sabin and Shelley.

Overall - Value: A, Execution: B

Impact brought in plenty of interesting wrestlers that will entice curiosity about their program. It will be an opportunity to hook new and lapsed fans. All of the surprise appearances made Slammiversary a fun viewing experience. I’m not so sure Impact delivered on the tagline about their world changing. Yeah, there’s new people, but nothing epic occurred to make me think it won’t be the same old Impact. There also wasn’t any reveal on who were the three people drinking whiskey in one of the teaser scenes.

We’ll close with an update on names that did not appear.

Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis will be on an ROH podcast dropping Monday (July 20). If they were intent on Impact, then it is odd to be doing an interview with ROH.

Bennett is focused on doing work in the ring as much as possible.

Matt Cardona (aka Zack Ryder) put out a teaser video.

I laughed hard at that little neck brace contraption. Is he looking toward Wednesday as a Dynamite surprise for Cody Rhodes’ TNT Championship? Or could Ryder go into business for himself with the Internet Championship?

Share your ratings for the value and execution of each surprise appearance at Slammiversary. Which was your favorite? Did you think EC3’s closing video was hot or cold?

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