IMPACT or WWE: Which Company had the Better PPV?
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, July 20, 2020
This weekend was quite eventful for wrestling fans as both IMPACT Wrestling and WWE held PPV events on the same weekend, which is rare to see. IMPACT have typically held their PPV events on Sundays however, they decided to try something new and hold their 16th annual Slammiversary on a Saturday, which essentially sets the tone for the weekend similar to what NXT TakeOver does for WWE’s big 4 PPV events: Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. On Sunday, WWE held their annual Extreme Rules event, but this time the event was billed as The Horror Show at Extreme Rules and featured a cinematic Wyatt Swamp Fight in the main event, and other stipulation matches such as Eye for an Eye match, Tables match, and Extreme Rules match.
IMPACT Wrestling Slammiversary 2020
It is also important to note that Slammiversary coincided with the date that the non-compete clauses of WWE superstars released in April were up and they were free to sign and wrestle for whomever they wish.
With that in mind, there was plenty of speculation as to who may show up at Slammiversary, which added extra interest to the event itself. Although there debuts and returns planned, the event was a great showcase of the talent level, in-ring ability, and potential of IMPACT Wrestling’s product.
The company had a nice mix of veteran performers like Ken Shamrock, Tommy Dreamer, and the returning Motor City Machine Guns, the established IMPACT talent like Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack, and rising stars like Deonna Purrazzo, Chris Bey, and The North, who the company can build around for the future.
Overall, most of the matches delivered and progressed storylines leading into this week’s PPV fallout episode of IMPACT! The company spread the surprises throughout the show and now have the following additions to their active roster: Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin), Heath (formerly Heath Slater), Eric Young, The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows), and EC3.
WWE The Horror Show at Extreme Rules
WWE lived up to its billing of being a horror show in more ways than one on Sunday night. The main event between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman was another cinematic-type matchup taking place from the origins of the Wyatt Family and even featured Alexa Bliss as Sister Abigail. The match featured plenty of bizarre scenes that played to the Eater of World character of Bray Wyatt but as the match came to a close, it became more evident that this would not carry any significance as The Fiend appeared at the end to essentially set up a rematch for next month’s SummerSlam, most likely with the WWE Universal Championship on the line.
WWE has had a cinematic match at every PPV since WrestleMania, which could end up having a negative impact because fans may get tired of seeing them and future matches in that particular format may even lose its luster and appeal going forward.
Another match that did not have the reception WWE might have hoped for was the Eye for an Eye match between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio. With the stipulation being that the only way to win was to literally remove your opponent’s eye from their socket, it backs the creative team into a corner because they have to come up with ways to make it look as though that was occurring, but it also backs the superstars into a corner because it limits what they can do and how they tell their story in the ring.
The general consensus from fans on Twitter was that Rollins and Mysterio did not need stipulation like an Eye for an Eye to have a meaningful match as the story leading up to the event was Mysterio standing up for his family and getting revenge for what the Monday Night Messiah had done to him. Had this been an Extreme Rules match or even a straight up wrestling match, it may have been viewed at in more of a positive light.
The bright side to the Rollins vs Mysterio match is that it may lead to Rollins vs Mysterio’s son, Dominick, at SummerSlam, which would be intriguing because fans would be curious to see how good Dominick is.
The WWE Championship match was a nice surprise in how they revealed the stipulation; Extreme Rules match only for Dolph Zigger meaning that WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was not able to use weapons or stay outside the ring for more than 10 seconds as he would risk being disqualified or counted out.
McIntyre and Ziggler had a good match but the outcome could end up having a negative effect on Ziggler because he came up short in a world championship match yet again and now could be in a position where he is back in the middle of the card or turns face again to goes after the United States Championship.
Overall, The Horror Show at Extreme Rules was not met with the same positive reaction that Slammiversary received on Saturday night. I feel IMPACT did a better job with what they had and put plans in motion for their new look roster while on the other hand, WWE had questionable finishes to some of their matches and felt like another episode of Raw and SmackDown rather than a PPV.
Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling and WWE, @Gian_411