Impact World Champion Josh Alexander and challenger Eric Young had one final conversation before they meet in the ring this Sunday at Slammiversary. Here’s what they told the assembled press, including Soundsphere.
The Impact Slammiversary press call was hosted by D’Lo Brown, who’s not been seen on Impact TV since the commentator was taken out by members of the invading Honor No More stable.
Brown introduced Scott D’Amore first to discuss his own relationship with the promotion. D’Amore went on to discuss the history of TNA/Impact Wrestling and how the company often struggled but always managed to overcome any challenge.
After the two shared some humorous anecdotes about the early days of TNA, Brown then introduced Impact World Champion, Josh Alexander and his challenger for Slammiversary, industry veteran Eric Young.
Unlike the previous Impact PPV press call, in which the last World Champion; Moose, heeled it up for the duration, Alexander and Young loosened the reigns of kayfabe for a while as both wrestlers discussed the company’s twentieth anniversary and what it meant to them.
Josh Alexander said “My relationship with this company started on my couch as a fan, June 19, 2002, ordering this pay-per-view as a fifteen-year-old kid. It ignited my passion for this business and twenty years later, both Eric and I have travelled different paths, but we’re converging for the first time at Slammiversary.”
Eric Young said, “I’m a much better version of who I was in 2004, I knew I was good at this, I’m not very good at anything else but pro wrestling, and my career has taken some turns. But here we both are, two short chubby kids from Ontario about to show the world what we’re all about. You will get the best version of me on June 19.”
Both the champ and the challenger were asked about how it feels to be trusted with a World Championship. The current champ, Josh Alexander, said, “I certainly feel the pressure as the World Champion, but I can only control what I do in that ring. As World Champion, it’s the representation of this locker room and I take that very seriously.”
Eric Young also gave his thoughts, saying, “To me, prestige, responsibility and the honour of carrying it. The Violent by Design Eric Young (the stable that he leads) would say power and control – and that’s what it’s about for VBD, but Eric Young would tell you it’s the responsibility.
“From the very first time you win one [a World Championship] you understand the responsibility of it. You understand the honour of carrying it. This is a million-dollar company that’s saying you’re the flagship, and that is an irreplaceable drug, it’s a possibility that I had been chasing since day one. If you got into wrestling not wanting to be the World Champion, you’re either in it for the wrong reasons or you’re a liar.”
Soundsphere were able to ask Eric Young if his Violent by Design stablemates would be first in line for a championship opportunity if he wins at Slammiversary – and if this worries him. Effortlessly switching back into his wrestling heel persona, Young told us:
“Violent by Design is a family, we’re not a family by circumstance, we’re a family by choice. Joe and Cody are my chosen family and becoming world champion again is my number one goal. Having that power and control again will be Violent by Design’s power and control. So, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but I know they will have my back.”
Both competitors summed up their final thoughts about Slammiversary and the twentieth anniversary of Impact Wrestling, with Eric Young saying, “I have worked in a lot of places, and I can tell you, it’s not like this anywhere else. I’m having the most fun now than at any other point in my career. I’m just ultra-proud and ultra-happy to be where I am.”
Finally, Josh Alexander brought us back to the main event saying, “EY embodies the first twenty years of Impact and I represent the present. Past vs present sums up this pay-per-view perfectly.”
Slammiversary will take place on June 19, 2022, at The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. It can be ordered in the UK and US on the FITE TV app.