Hey guys, who is ready for TNA SLAMMIVERSARY! They’ve managed to stay in business for 12 years despite horrible booking for about half of that timespan, zero growth, emphasis on old guys that never brought up ratings, terrible buyrates, tons of released wrestlers, people not getting paid and so much more! How they managed to do that, I really have no idea. Spike will probably renew them despite EVERYTHING telling them not to, so there’s something there that you have to commend TNA on: existing. They will continue to exist as long as they have that tv show, which judging by the shows this last week “hyping” Slammiversary, gee that’s really sad, isn’t it?
X-Division Title Six-Way Ladder Match: Participants are Tigre Undo, Sanada, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Manik (who hasn’t been used in ages) and CRAZY STEVE. Yes. Steve is somehow over. I don’t know why. Lots of crazy spots throughout the match. Honestly I didn’t catch all the match (Father’s day! People are over! SORRY!) but I saw most of it. Davey went to grab the title, but Manik came back and hit a sunset flip and powerbombed Davey into the ladder. Sanada then climbed the ladder and grabbed it while Eddie halfheartedly tried to stop it. Oops.
MVP came out. He did not like the reaction he got. Local sports team rundown. He’s upset that he should be resting in a hospital bed, but instead he’s out here. Talks about Dixie Carter going to the board of directors. He reiterates the new matches for tonight. Lashley and Samoa Joe as well as Austin Aries and Kenny King will compete in matches, and the winner of those matches will go on to face each other and Eric Young in a triple threat match. MVP says he won’t be involved in the matches. Ok. King continues local sports team rundown. MVP goes on and sends Lashley down to the ring, because his match is next.
Samoa Joe vs. Lashley: Lashley jumps Joe immediately after the bell rings. There’s a UK flag on the barricade. Did someone actually travel to Dallas, TX for a TNA PPV? I know TNA is way more popular in the UK than it is here, but seriously? Lashley dominated a lot of this match. This match actually had heat though. This is an uncommon thing in TNA matches. Joe rallies back with a kick to the head, a uranage counter and the kokina clutch but Lashley powers out. OH NO, REF GOT IN THE WAY. Spear, Lashley wins. Didn’t like that finish, beyond it being anticlimactic. But hey, it was a clean win at least. No interference, as promised. **1/2
JB is with Dixie Carter. The whole Carter family was there. JB mentions that there have been some high profile talks. Dixie says she won’t reveal them until she’s in the middle of the ring. JB asks for a hint. Dixie says that karma is a you know what because MVP’s plans are failing. Oh no.
Magnus vs. Willow. Bram is in the corner of Magnus, Abyss is in the corner of Willows. Magnus did the old Finlay spot where Willow goes for a baseball slide but he opens the canvas trapping Willow in it. That’s a cool spot. They had a pretty uneventful match. Bram ran in, but Abyss pulled him out and beat him up. Willow comes out with a huge splash that sends Bram and Magnus out. Abyss then started to beat up bram in the ring. This was all not a DQ for some reason. Willow hits two twist of fates but only gets a two. Bram gets a turnbuckle corner. Abyss brings out JANICE. This sends Bram to the back. Willow attempts a corkscrew but Magnus grabs the ropes, sending Willow down, then hits a modified uranage for the pinfall. **1/2
This crowd is the most liveliest crowd I can remember in some time in TNA.
JB introduces Kurt Angle, who will give the Hall of Fame announcement. He introduces Team 3D, who will be inducted at Bound for Glory. Fine choice, they’ve won every single major tag team title out there and have done a ton in every company they’ve been a part of, including TNA. Crowd chanted “we want tables” for a good while. D-Von and Bubba hugged. They talked for a really long time. Maybe that’s mean, but it’s true. And they milked that “we want tables” chant FOREVER. They accepted, and that’s about it.
EC3 cuts a promo talking about how he took out Sting and Kurt Angle, two hall of famers, and tonight he’ll take out the third in Bully Ray. Says this isn’t Von Erich country, it’s Carter country. Crowd BOOED this. Says do you know who I am? I’m a Carter, and the world needs us.
Austin Aries vs. Kenny King: They said there were some Dallas Cowboys in the arena tonight. They showed them for approximately 1.5 seconds before switching the camera back to the ring. TNA. Aries starts off hot early, but King crotches him and lands a side kick to the head that allows him to gain control of the match. Aries started to mount an offense. One of the first things he did was BOX THE EARS of Kenny King. That’s a new one. Aries gets the last chancery locked in but Kenny rakes the eyes and counters with a blockbuster. Kenny goes for something off the top rope, but Aries counters it with a brainbuster off the top rope for the pinfall. Pretty good match with some good heat. ***1/4
JB says give it up for the Cowboys. People BOOED. That’s weird. They introduced the Von Erichs. Kevin said it was good to be here and God bless Texas. People cheered, but not as big as I thought it would be. The Bro Mans came out. They cut a promo on Texas and the Von Erichs. Zema said that they had lassos up north and they were called jump ropes, and those were for GIRLS. I lol’d.
The Bro Mans vs. The Von Erichs: Back and forth match mostly Marshall and Ross are pretty fine in the ring. Not amazing, but very decent. Jesse brings in the chair but Ross eliminates it from the ring. Marshall actually busted out a standing moonsault. Jesse’s back in the ring with a chair and strikes one of the Von Erichs for a DQ. Seems decent enough given the Von Erichs aren’t staying. **1/4
Kevin came running in immediately after and beat up Zema Ion, including giving him the claw. People reacted HUGE to this. Like, bigger than anything TNA’s done this year. Or ever. He brings in his boys and they celebrate for a feel good moment.
JB interviews Angelina. Velvet came in and talked. They said nothing of note.
TNA Knockouts – Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim: Hasn’t Madison Rayne been feuding with the Beautiful People lately? So why is Gail Kim getting the shot? I think she won a match to be here though so I guess I shouldn’t complain. Angelina gets thrown into the steps but immediately regains control and hits something resembling an inverted bulldog. Hairspray distraction shot, but Gail Kim kicks out. Earl Hebner runs in and throws out the other ref and Velvet Sky. Gail mounts a comeback. She misses a dropkick to the corner that sends Earl to the floor. Angelina counters Gail’s rollup attempt and the other referee counts it for the pinfall. The idea is that the other ref, Stiffler whatever, is a dirty ref. This has always worked in pro wrestling. *1/4
Bully Ray cuts a promo about Ethan Carter. Says that when he thinks of Texas, he thinks of guys like the Von Erichs, Stan Hansen and Terry Funk. Promises that he’ll take care of him tonight.
Texas Death Match – Bully Ray vs. Ethan Carter III: Bully did his best Stan Hansen impersonation swinging a bull rope to the ring, but alas it was inferior. Bully dominated early and set up 3 tables on the outside, removing the mat protection on the outside. EC3 counters and starts pummeling EC3 with chairshots. Bully brings out a cheese grater. Why would those be lying around a wrestling ring? Were the ring crew just enjoying a piece of cheese before the matches started and oops, someone forgot to put it in the sink? He grinds EC3’s chest with it. EC3 counters with a low blow. Bully counters a suplex attempt and hits one of his own, landing on the chair. Bully uses a box cutter to destroy the ring and open up the canvas, exposing the wood paneling. Spud runs in and hits Bully with a kendo stick. Bully no sells it and takes care of EC3 and hits Bully Ray with the headlock DDT.
Bully gets up at 8. EC3 empties out a bucket Bully introduced earlier and there are shards of glass. Um, that doesn’t need to be used in pro wrestling ever. Bully hits the bubba cutter on EC3 into the glass. Ouch. Kendo stick shot to the head by Bully. He goes to splash EC3 into the table but Dixie comes out and says no. Bully says I’m gonna kill you, bitch. Lovely. EC3 collides into Dixie by accident. Bully puts Dixie on the tables but EC3 strikes back with a kendo stick shot. He falls into the table with Spud pulling her out of harm’s way at the last second. Bully gets slammed into the tables and the referee counts to 10. Crowd didn’t like this. Match was fine with some interesting spots. ***1/4
Ken Anderson vs. James Storm: This feuds started when Ken Anderson started to act like a dick to James Storm and as a result, they’re having a match. Keep in mind Anderson is a face and Storm is a heel. Anderson hit two Green Bay plunges but only got a nearfall. Storm confronts the Cowboys, gives them the finger and spits beer at them. Crowd didn’t like this at all. With the ref distracted, one of the Cowboys came in and distracted Storm allowing Anderson to hit the mic check and the win. Not much of a match. *1/2
Eric Young starts to cut a promo when suddenly Aries arrives. Aries says may the best man win. Maybe he’s turning. Again. Eric cut a good promo talking about how he’s a crazy person and he’s gonna be crazy enough to get the job done tonight.
TNA World Championship – Eric Young vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Lashley (Steel cage): JB made sure to point out that it was pinfall or submission only. Ok? Lashley started off hot early, using power to throw Young and Aries around and threw them into the cage. Eric gains control and hits a double death valley driver for a nearfall in a great spot. Aries hits a hurricanrana that sends both of them to the ground. Eric hits a huge elbow off the cage onto Lashley but Aries make the save and hits a brainbuster but Lashley breaks it up. Lashley hits a spear but Eric breaks it up. Lashley goes for another spear, but Lashley misses and spears himself through the door out to the floor. Eric Young hits an elbow on Aries for a nearfall. Crowd is into Aries. Eric goes for a piledriver but Aries avoids it. Aries goes for a move but Eric springboards and counters with a piledriver for a nearfall. That’s one of the best TNA matches of the year so far. ****
This show FAR EXCEEDED any expectations anyone had for the card going in. After weeks of horrendous television with small crowds and zero reactions, this show made the company feel like it was a hot event. That’s something I haven’t been able to say about TNA since I can’t even remember. Everyone worked hard and the main event was great. There were some uninteresting matches with some dumb endings, but it wasn’t rampant throughout the card. I hope this sparks a change for the next six weeks of taping they’re doing, because really, no one bought this show because of how terrible they’ve been doing on television lately, both ratings and creative wise. I don’t expect things to change, because TNA never learns. Ever. Plus much of the good vibes of this card can be attributed to the crowd who were hot for everything tonight. But I’ll be nice. This was a good card. TNA might not get something like this card for a while so it’s best to enjoy it while it lasts.