2016 was a time in which the future of the company was completely uncertain...
The issues that were plaguing TNA were becoming more and more prevalent in the eyes of onlookers as various news sites would continuously report on the ever-growing problems that were a result of the Hogan/Bischoff era of the early 2010's.
On the on hand, the company around this time saw names like Eddie Edwards, Allie, Eli Drake, Rosemary and others come in and eventually become popular figures in the later years of Impact's history.
While promotion would continue to suffer with problems, the in-ring quality certainly didn't especially when it comes to that year's Slammiversary...So with that said, let's look at 10 Interesting Facts About Slammiversary 2016.
10. A Few TNA Stars Left The Company Months Earlier
A real shift was starting to show as more young and hungry talent were beginning to appear on the roster, which really began a changing of the guard within the promotion as the wrestlers who had been with the company for years were already looking to relocate elsewhere.
The first to go was Kurt Angle, who was already planning on leaving TNA as evident by Angle's 'Farewell Tour' during the company's recent tapings in the United Kingdom; The tour saw Angle take on names like Bobby Roode and Drew Galloway, with his last match happening on March 8th against Bobby Lashley to which the pro wrestler/MMA fighter defeated Angle in singles action, ending the Olympic Gold Medalist's ten year run with the promotion.
Speaking of Bobby Roode, he and fellow TNA original Eric Young would be gone not too long after Kurt's depart as the two of them left on March the 19th following the company's 'Sacrifice' event which saw both men lose the Tag Team and King of The Mountain Championships respectively.
One month later, Velvet Sky would be the last to leave after losing a match to newcomer, Sienna with her job at stake; Most of the these names would end up joining the WWE a few months or year later, while Velvet would join Ring Of Honor and years later become a commentator for the NWA.
9. Drew Galloway Made Some History A Few Months Earlier
Before he made his return to the WWE, Drew Galloway became a free agent following his release from the company in June of 2014 during which he competed in a multitude of promotions like Pro Wrestling Guerilla, EVOLVE and most notably TNA Wrestling.
By Slammiversary 2016, Galloway became TNA World Heavyweight Champion and was set to defend his title against follow WWE alumni at the time, Bobby Lashley in the main event, but before that the former 3MB member accomplished an impressive accolade.
On the March 15th 2016 edition of Impact, Drew cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase (which he had won months earlier) for a shot at the world title and by the end of that episode, Galloway defeated Matt Hardy to become the new TNA World Heavyweight champion making him the first Scottish born wrestler to become a world champion in company history.
Galloway also became the first TNA wrestler to cash in the Feast or Fired world title briefcase successfully as names like Samoa Joe, Eli Drake, Hernandez and others had all tried and failed to get the job done...Not too bad for a guy the WWE once put in leather pants and told to act like an obnoxious air guitarist alongside Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal.
8. The Importance Of Davey Richards' Injury
Davey Richards, was one half of the largely successful tag team known as 'The Wolves' when he suffered a nasty knee injury during the company's tour in the UK (Yup, that same tour that would see Kurt Angle have his last match in TNA).
This came in the midst of Davey and Eddie Edwards fifth and final title reign as TNA Tag Team Champions but in order for the belts to not be held up vacant, The Wolves lost the tag titles to Beer Money which left Davey out of action for months.
Now without his partner, the company decided to make Eddie Edwards a solo competitor where he ended up becoming a two time X Division Champion which would eventually lead to him getting a shot at and even winning the TNA World Championship before the end of the year.
Richards' injury also helped in setting up future events that would culminate in a hardcore tag team match at next year’s Slammiversary...but more on that in the next article.
7. The Maria vs. Gail Kim Match Was Cancelled Due To Injury
Continuing our theme of TNA wrestlers getting injured, we have the self proclaimed "First Lady of Professional Wrestling" Maria Kanellis-Bennett, who alongside her real life husband and pro wrestler Mike Bennett debuted in TNA and instantly became the newest bad guys on the roster.
While Mike was busy dealing with EC3 in the lead up to Slammiversary, Maria was focusing her efforts on former Knockouts Champion Gail Kim; While there was some heat between both ladies on screen, the animosity real came to ahead when it came time for Gail to get a partner for the first ever female lethal lockdown match when she was left with no choice but to turn to Maria who as you can expect turned on Gail which led to her teams defeat.
This would all lead to Gail Kim having a match with Maria Kanellis for that year's Slammiversary, however the highly anticipated match was cancelled due to Maria suffering a broken hand during the Impact TV tapings weeks prior, with Kanellis even sharing photos about her injury on Instagram and Twitter.
Although it's unclear exactly what may have caused her injury in the first place, this caused the company to make the Sienna vs. Jade match for the Knockouts Championship a triple threat with Gail as the third participant.
6. James Storm Has The Most Appearances At Slammiversary
Due to James Storms longevity within TNA Wrestling, he has accomplished many impressive feats, however there is an accolade that a majority of fans may not know about the cowboy and that is the fact that James Storm has the most appearances at Slammiversary than any other TNA wrestler.
Storm's appearances at Slammiversary has seen him wrestle first in tag team matches from 2005-07 and again from 2009-11. Storm would then return to the company at Slammiversary 2012 to defeat Crimson and end his undefeated streak, he would return to tag team action in 2013 when he and Gunner would win the tag team titles at that year's event, and he would again return to singles action at Slammiversary in 2014, 2015, 2016 and lastly at 2017.
This means that James Storm has wrestled at Slammiversary at least twelve different times (as of the writing of this article), with his Beer Money tag team partner, Bobby Roode having the second most appearances with ten to be exact (especially if you include that time he did commentary in the opening tag team title match at Slammiversary 2011).
5. Some Of The Names Involved First Appeared At The One Night Only Events
For those who don't remember or never heard of them, the One Night Only TNA shows were pre-taped events that the company would air on PPV on a yearly basis starting from 2013 until 2017.
Although the outcomes of the matches at these events had little impact (no pun intended) on the major storylines, it did allow wrestlers from the independent scene or other companies to participate in tournaments and matches with the athletes on the impact roster in a number of never before seen dream matches and in some cases the wrestlers who took part in these events would end up getting signed by TNA management a few months or a year later.
At Slammiversary 2016, at least six wrestlers who wrestled or appeared at this event were first introduced to TNA/Impact Wrestling fans at the one night only shows; The names in question were, Jade, Braxton Sutter, Allie, Baron Dax and Basile Baraka and finally Sienna.
Many of these names would debut months before this event with both Allie and Sienna first appearing at Knockouts Knockdown 2015 and 2016 respectively where they both faced off against Gail Kim in singles competition, Sutter first appeared at the 2015 X Division themed show called "X-Travaganza" where he lost a triple threat match to Kenny King, and The Tribunal (Dax and Baraka) would lose in a tag team match to the BroMans at the 2016 Victory Road event.
Meanwhile, Jade was the first person in the group to have taken part in the one night only events as she took part in the first three Knockouts Knockdown events in 2013, 2014 and 2015 where she battled names like Tara, Santana Garrett, Taryn Terrell and Brooke Tessmacher before being officially signed to the roster as a member of The Dollhouse in 2015 just months later.
4. This Was Jeff Hardy's Final Slammiversary Appearance
Slammiversary 2016 saw "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy take on his brother Matt on PPV once again but this time, under Matt's newly created Broken Hardy gimmick in a full metal mayhem match aka a no countout, no DQ match.
An interesting fact about this match was that this ended up being the sixth and final Slammiversary match for Jeff Hardy who wrestled at this event between Slammiversary 2010-13, that one time he wrestled Magnus as his alter ego, Willow at Slammiversary 2014 and of course this show here.
In the end, Jeff Hardy was able to pick up the win in this match however, Matt would end up getting the last laugh as he was able to defeat Jeff in the "Final Deletion" which helped to launch Matt Hardy and his Broken persona into meteoric success throughout 2016-17.
3. Abyss Becomes The Only TNA Wrestler To Fight For All Of The Titles At Slammiversary
James Storm apparently isn't the only TNA original to have made history at Slammiversary as 'The Monster' also achieved an impressive feat as Abyss is the only man in company history to have wrestled at Slammiversary with most of his matches being for the X Division, World Title, Tag Team and Mid Card championships.
Abyss' first foray saw him take part in two back-to-back King of The Mountain matches for the NWA World Championship at Slammiversary 2005 and 2006.
A few years later, Abyss would retain his X Division championship against Frankie Kazarian and Brian Kendrick at Slammiversary 2011 and just two years later, he defeated Devon to become the new Television Champion at Slammiversary 2013.
Finally, his title defense with Decay for the TNA tag team championships at this year’s Slammiversary makes Abyss the only TNA wrestler to have wrestled for all of the male championships during his in-ring TNA career at Slammiversary.
2. Gail Kim Would Be Announced For The Impact Wrestling Hall Of Fame Days Later
So Gail Kim didn't have a good Slammiversary on this night; Not only did she not get to wrestle her archrival, Maria Kanellis-Bennett one-on-one, but the interference of Maria and her Lady Squad also cost her the chance to become the Knockouts Champion once again.
However, things did get better for Gail following this event as a mere two days after Slammiversary, it would be announced on the next episode that Gail Kim would be the next inductee into the TNA/Impact Wrestling Hall Of Fame.
This made Gail the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since it's inception back at Slammiversary 2012; At that year's Bound For Glory event Gail would officially get inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
As an added bonus she did have that one-on-one match with Maria Kanellis-Bennett at Bound For Glory where she not only defeated her but also won the Knockouts Championship in the process.
1. It Was The Final Slammiversary PPV Under The TNA Banner
As mentioned in the intro of this article, 2016 was a year of uncertainty for the company as issues regarding finances were a big talking point for the company and it looked as if the company would have to reboot itself in order to have a fresh start.
By the beginning of the new year the company would indeed start over however, it wouldn't be under the TNA Wrestling name.
After years of scandals, multiple regime changes and network cancellations, the TNA brand had become too badly damaged to continue on further, so when it came time to rebrand the company, everything about TNA Wrestling including the belts, staff, most of the wrestlers and even the six sided ring would be gone.
While the TNA brand has since gotten a resurgence in 2020 following the ideas of a one night only TNA show and the return of the custom TNA World Title, Slammiversary 2016 would be marked as the very last one under the TNA Wrestling era.
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