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Mickie James leads suspect list for Slammiversary surprises

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Ever since last year when freedom from WWE’s roster releases conveniently aligned with the timing of Slammiversary, Impact has branded the PPV as their world changing with surprise appearances. Last year saw the Motor City Machine Guns, Good Brothers, EC3, Eric Young, Heath Slater, and an injury return from Rich Swann.

This year has three open spots for surprises at Slammiversary, plus whoever else decides to crash the party. Let’s take a look at potential possibilities. To clarify, these are not rumors. It is just a look at how available wrestlers would fit into the Impact world.

First on the list is Deonna Purrazzo defending the Knockouts Championship against a mystery opponent. Oh, looky here who Impact decided to feature in their latest top 5 countdown. Mickie James.

5. Live performance breaks down - TNA Impact! (Dec. 2, 2010)
4. Revenge on James Storm - Impact Wrestling (July 29, 2015)
3. Shocking debut - TNA Impact! Before the Glory (Oct. 7, 2010)
2. Epic cage dive - TNA Impact! (Dec. 9, 2010)
1. Historic championship win - TNA Lockdown (Apr. 17, 2011)

That video is worth watching to see Eric Young dance in assless chaps and James diving off the top of a cage.

The story for Purrazzo is a chance at becoming the greatest Knockouts champ of all-time. James fits the bill as an opponent due to winning that title three times in her previous run with Impact. James recently joined the NWA to produce an all-women’s PPV in August, so she may be off the table for Impact. Stranger things have happened though in this Forbidden Door era. NWA has history working with ROH and AEW, so it is not inconceivable that Billy Corgan’s chilly relationship with Impact could thaw.

If James isn’t the surprise, then the next biggest free agent on the list is Tessa Blanchard. She had a falling out with Impact, but never say never in the professional wrestling industry. Doing the J-O-B for Purrazzo would be a big step getting back into Impact’s good graces. Tessa is probably unlikely, but Daga got me thinking with teases of arriving soon. Arriving where? He doesn’t say, but life is full of surprises.

My personal hope for Purrazzo’s surprise choice is Awesome Kong. That would be one heck of a scalp for the champ’s résumé, and it would be a memorable moment seeing Purrazzo sweat bullets as Kong comes down the aisle. Since Gail Kim was the one to announce the match, it would make sense for it be one of her greatest adversaries.

The second surprise opportunity is for Brian Myers & Tenille Dashwood versus Matt Cardona and a partner of his choosing. Myers recruited Tenille due to their mutual annoyance of Cardona.

It just so happens that Tenille is an ex-girlfriend of Cardona, so who better to pick than his current fiancée, Chelsea Green (aka “Hot Mess” Laurel Van Ness). Even though the story writes itself for Green to appear, this is one where I’m completely confused. Green debuted in ROH last weekend, and she was not medically cleared due to recovery from a broken wrist. Perhaps she shows up and brings a friend with her. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are available, but that might not be a smart move since they are pals with Tenille.

If Impact completely strikes out on all the women, Jordynne Grace has the story history to fill the role of either Purrazzo’s challenger or Cardona’s partner. Grace is not currently booked for the card. That is a bit odd, since she is one of Impact’s most recognizable Knockouts.

The third surprise opened up last-minute with TJP being unable to compete in the four-way tag title match.

Perusing the list of names on the market, Mojo Rawley would be a nice fit as Fallah Bahh’s partner. Keeping it connected to Impact stories, Johnny Swinger or Hernandez could fill the role due to Bahh’s deadbeat gambling habits at Swinger’s Palace casino.

The main event for the evening will be Kenny Omega defending the Impact World Championship against Sami Callihan in a No DQ fight. Having a major star make his presence known in the aftermath to challenge the winner would be a rowdy pop. Many fans believed Samoa Joe could do that nicely. Unfortunately, Joe went to NXT. I don’t think Daniel Bryan or CM Punk will be entering the Impact Zone, so a show-ending mega surprise may not occur.

One surprise that I personally would enjoy is the return of Callihan’s associate Ken Shamrock. The Death Machine could always use a little help tackling the Elite. Impact suspended him indefinitely for attacking officials. Shamrock remains in great shape and is not done yet.

Other notable free agents include RVD, Alex Shelley, Rowan, Sarah Logan, Aiden English, Primo, Epico, Carlito, No Way Jose, Chris Hero, Tucker, Kalisto, Wesley Blake, Bo Dallas, and Cain Velasquez. It would be pretty cool to see Velasquez do some rounds with Kenny Omega. The most recent batch of WWE releases might not be legally available yet, but that list includes Braun Strowman, Lana, Ruby Riott, and Buddy Murphy.

Let’s not forget there is always a possibility for an Aces & Eights reunion.

Paging Bully Ray on the Twitter machine.

Slammiversary airs tonight (July 17, 2021) at 8 pm ET on PPV and Fite TV. The pre-show kicks off at 7 pm ET. Get caught up on the storylines with a preview and predictions. Make sure to come back to Cageside Seats for the live results.

Who do you think will make surprise appearances at Slammiversary? Who are you hoping to see?