Impact Wrestling held their 20th Anniversary special at Slammiversary 2022 last night. The night featured some fun matches, great action and call-backs to days of Impact/TNA/GFW gone by.
Many former TNA stars of the past made appearances, either on the show or by video special videos recorded to honor the last twenty years of the legendary promotion.
Former TNA legends like Kurt Angle and Sting recorded special video messages, with the two Hall of Famers recalling their favourite moments in their Impact careers and how much the promotion means to them.
While touching, it was nothing compared to the TNA return of AJ Styles. AJ Styles returned to TNA that night in his own special video package, thanking TNA for the years he spent there and recalling his best moments, including being a part of the first TNA match ever.
Sporting a gash on his head, AJ Styles walked on screen his living room and proclaimed “Happy Anniversary Impact Wrestling”. He then went on to talk about the X-Division, his matches with Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels as the highlight of his TNA career.
He then revealed that AJ Styles was voted as the most “Impactful” Impact wrestler of all time, and the best X-Division wrestler in the company history. He then thanked WWE for allowing him to make the appearance and toasted to 20 more years of Impact Wrestling.
AJ Styles TNA return was extra shocking due to his current role in WWE. WWE rarely allows it’s wrestlers to appear on other promotions TV Shows, with it only happening a handful of times in the last 30+ years in Vince McMahon’s company.
AJ Styles was not the first WWE star to show up in Impact Wrestling/TNA. Christian Cage made a guest aappearance in TNA 10 years ago at Slammiversary 2012, despite being a star in WWE at the time. He was brought back for one night only in a swap deal, with WWE getting Ric Flair to appear at the WWE Hall of Fame to be inducted alongside the Four Horsemen.
AJ Styles was not in the Impact Zone for TNA Slammiversay, and it is unlikely he will wrestle for the promotion again. It has been reported that AJ Styles will retire after his WWE deal is up and won’t move to another promotion like AEW or TNA, instead get a job as a trainer or producer within WWE.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.