Our World Changed in 2020. It’s easy to think about how 2020 changed the world in many ways but Slammiversary was an industry shaking event. For weeks beforehand, anticipation built around just who would appear at IMPACT’s yearly anniversary PPV extravaganza. At least one former World Champion was promised, many other debuts and returns were teased – but just exactly who and how many people would be appearing at Slammiversary was anybody’s guess. Slammiversary came and blew away all expectations.
As Brian Cage ramped up his pursuit of the IMPACT World Championship, Johnny IMPACT became increasingly insecure – looking to do anything he could to hang onto gold. He just about escaped from Homecoming with the title, fending off Brian Cage’s Option C challenge, but The Machine’s chase was only beginning. As Cage got closer and closer to Johnny, Johnny cracked under pressure – using corrupt official John E. Bravo to keep the title around his waist as Johnny and Taya Valkyrie looked to rule IMPACT. Brian Cage would finally get another shot at Rebellion – this time with special referee Lance Storm in place to ensure that Johnny couldn’t tilt the scales in his favor in any way. Cage defeated Johnny in Toronto to capture the richest prize in IMPACT Wrestling.
Santana and Ortiz carried on the LAX name with honor, living up the tremendous legacy of Homicide and Hernandez. However, the original LAX weren’t exactly pleased to see their spotlight taken by a younger generation. After over a year dominating the tag team division, Eddie Kingston arrived in IMPACT with a worrying message – Konnan had been taken out but he was here to steer the ship in Konnan’s absence. Diamante was skeptical of Kingston at first but over time he earned Santana and Ortiz’s trust and helped lead them back to the Tag Team Titles. All was well in LAX until Konnan returned.
Eli Drake’s loud mouth and brash attitude immediately got attention when he debuted in 2015. From his time in The Rising to his run as King of the Mountain Champion to his rivalry with EC3 – people immediately identified him as a future World Champion. Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards to regain the title in a classic 30 Minute Iron Man at Genesis but a Gauntlet for the Gold in August for the vacant championship gave Drake his best chance yet. He overcame 20 men including former champions Eddie Edwards, Lashley and EC3 as well as the debuting Johnny IMPACT to become champion. Drake then immediately entered a rivalry with Johnny including main eventing Bound For Glory, but Drake would hang onto the title for the rest of the year.
Broken. No single word defines 2016 more. EC3 won the World Title Series to become World Champion for the second time but this would set Matt Hardy on a completely different path. After coming up short multiple times and having his crowning moment taken away from him at Bound For Glory, Matt Hardy turned to a different approach to capture the World Championship. Tyrus turned on EC3, helping Hardy capture gold and beginning the birth of “Broken” Matt Hardy. When Drew Galloway used his Feast or Fired case to take the World Championship from Matt, Matt lost it thinking his brother had betrayed him. Jeff Hardy beat Matt Hardy in an I Quit match after a Swanton Bomb from the very top of the IMPACT Zone and Matt was never the same.