June 28, 2015
Orlando, Florida – Universal Studios
Welcome, folks, to a preview of one of the least promoted PPV’s in TNA history. Slammiversary this Sunday is clearly a PPV TNA don’t care about. After Destination America moved TNA to Wednesdays that threw out their existing schedule as the need to do the Slammiversary go-home show live resulted in them having to move the TV tapings for the episodes of Impact after Slammiversary to before Slammiversary. As a result, the TV tapings would have spoiled the results of the PPV matches, so TNA moved most of the matches that looked like they were being built to the PPV (EC3 vs. Kurt Angle, the tag series finale, Brooke vs. Kong vs. Terrell, Young vs. Melendez, Sky vs. Love and The Rising vs. The BDC) were all moved to Impact either this week or next week. There are some holdovers from what would have originally been on the show (like Storm vs. Magnus and Robbie E vs. Godderz) but this is largely a live One Night Only show. A show haphazardly thrown together, horribly promoted, and that will largely come and go without much consequence (except maybe the main event).
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Bobby Lashley and Mr Anderson
This is probably the most random match on this show. It’s not like there hasn’t been any issues between EC3 and his opponents (he’s fresh off a feud with Anderson while he and Tyrus screwed Lashley in a match a week ago) but this feels like the definition of “We need PPV matches!”. Sadly, it also doesn’t look very interesting. Tyrus has done nothing worthwhile since debuting in TNA last year and while I don’t hate Anderson as much as some, I certainly can’t deny he can be fairly awful (what makes him frustrating are the instances where he isn’t awful). Sadly this will probably turn out to be another poor showing for EC3 in the build up to his World title match with Angle next week. You’d think EC3 would have to pick up the win, but it could easily be a case of Tyrus being pinned by one of the other two.
Prediction: EC3 and Tyrus
Robbie E vs. Jessie Godderz
I have high hopes for this match. I still think them breaking up The BroMans was a terrible idea but I like both guys and I hope they can make the most of their feud. I’ve always thought Robbie was an underrated wrestler and I’m interested to see how he does fresh off a face turn (his first time as a face in his five year TNA run). Jessie seems a natural heel so the dynamic of the match should work. It’s a shame these guys got no promo time in the lead in to this match because more than any other match on this card they could have badly done with it. With there not exactly being a huge amount of options when it comes to face World title challengers, the imperative should be to try and establish fresh blood so Robbie should probably win. I really hope this match goes well.
Prediction: Robbie E
Bram vs. Matt Morgan
Unless your name is A.J. Styles or Kurt Angle, Matt Morgan is unlikely to have a great match with you. And I’m still not sold on Bram at all. He still dreadfully overacts and outside of hardcore matches his work is nearly always bland and not all that interesting to watch. So it’s safe to say I don’t have high hopes for this one. Best case scenario for this is that it’s relatively short (around eight minutes would be ideal) and relatively inoffensive. The winner depends on whether Morgan is back for good or whether this is a once off, they seem pretty high on Bram so he should win.
Brooke and Awesome Kong vs. The Dollhouse
I’ve turned a corner regarding The Dollhouse recently. I’ve gone from accepting them as part of the show that I have to put with to actively resenting their existence. This is a two on three handicap match. Any prior combination of these five has been rubbish so I don’t expect much else this time. With Brooke and Kong getting a title shot on next week’s Impact you’d assume they’ll pick up the win, perhaps with the assistance of a returning Gail Kim. Like the last match, the best case here is probably an inoffensive match, though Taryn did drastically exceed expectation two years ago at Slammiversary.
Prediction: Brooke and Awesome Kong
Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards
Now we reach the business end of this show. I don’t expect too much out of the first four matches on this show (aside from maybe Jessie vs. Robbie) but it’s the last three matches that will hopefully be the reason to watch this show. While it was disappointing to see the final match in the Best of 5 Series bumped to next week’s Impact this is a pretty good alternative. The winner will get to choose the stipulation for match five. Assuming these two don’t inexplicably only get ten minutes, or there’s no needless interference or nonsense, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be the match of the night. Hopefully TNA don’t get in their way. It makes most sense for Aries to win (letting the heels pick the stip for the final match). Hopefully this is as good as it looks on paper.
Prediction: Austin Aries
Non-Sanctioned Match – James Storm vs. Magnus
There was a point a few weeks ago where if they announced this match I would’ve been pretty excited. There was a point where this was a really good story. Storm was driving a wedge between Magnus and Mickie, feigning being nice just to get between them. The performances were nuanced and subtle, the character motivations were all spot on and they were telling a fun story. Then James Storm had to go and push Mickie James in front of a train. It had to become a goofy, over the top, totally unbelievable angle. Because that’s what made the angle work in the first place – it was believable.
Thankfully James Storm is generally very good at these matches. His blow off with Chris Harris was fantastic. His blow off match with Bobby Roode was great. And his matches with Gunner were one of the few redeeming parts of the first six months of TNA last year. So Storm usually delivers in big, feud defining brawls. Magnus’ record is a little less stellar but with the right opponent in the right environment he usually has good matches. Hopefully we don’t get a repeat of Sacrifice 2014 where Storm and Gunner were killing each other and getting absolutely nothing in return from the crowd. Surely Magnus has to win in order to avenge Storm’s attempted murder of Mickie James.
King of the Mountain – Jeff Jarrett vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young
First let’s get the rules out of the way:
In order to win you must become eligible and hang the belt. To become eligible you must score a pinfall or submission. Falls count anywhere. If you are pinned you must spend two minutes in the penalty box.
Of course this isn’t a title match so I’m not sure at this stage what they’re going to have to hang (TNA have yet to state what this match is actually for). The other King of the Mountain match that was non-title was an X-Division King of the Mountain in June 2008 where they had to hang a giant X but that wouldn’t really work here. I’ve always liked King of the Mountain, the rules are a little silly (though I dispute that they are complicated) but it is nearly always a good match (I particularly enjoy the 2005 and 2007 matches). Thankfully we finally got who was actually going to be in the match on Thursday night (for reasons beyond comprehension they didn’t announce who was going to be in the match on Impact on Wednesday).
Jarrett has the most experience in King of the Mountain (the match is named after him after all). He has a 2-1 record (the same number of wins in the match as Kurt Angle (who is 2-0) as well as Frankie Kazarian (who is also 2-0 with the asterisk that one of those was as Suicide)). Roode is the only other wrestler in the match who has previously wrestled in King of the Mountain (the pretty good 2008 match). Young lost a 2009 qualifying match to Jeff Jarrett (so naturally he’ll be out for revenge here six years later) and Drew and Hardy are new to the match entirely. The match generally delivers because on a basic level it’s a ladder match and generally multi-man ladder matches are hard to screw up.
Naturally I buried the lede here – Jeff Jarrett is in this match! That is the main hook of the match (and frankly this show). After his great promo on Wednesday the intrigue of this match is what’s going to happen with Jeff Jarrett and this match. Is it simply going to be the case they presented on Wednesday where Jarrett gets his big moment and gets to leave TNA on his own terms? Or is this simply a backdrop for a larger angle involving Jarrett and the GFW? We don’t entirely understand what the relationship between Jarrett and TNA is right now and that’s what makes Sundays King of the Mountain interesting. It’s a very last minute substitute for the Angle/EC3 match but with the addition of Jarrett it’s become a pretty interesting substitute. By hook or by crook I think Jarrett wins this one.
Prediction: Jeff Jarrett
There’s one thing I ask of TNA from this show. Don’t needlessly overbook it. There’s nothing more annoying than when I watch TNA’s One Night Only shows (yes I actually watch those) and there’s all these goofy, needlessly overbooked finishes on these shows that pretty much nobody watches. Just have a good straightforward wrestling show. Reward the people who actually watch this show with something good. Hopefully the crowd are good as the Impact Zone crowd during relatively cold periods aren’t the best crowd for PPV’s but hopefully straightforward matches with straightforward finishes on the undercard will keep the crowd engaged long enough to help the matches on this show that actually matter to actually deliver. Considering how little TNA cared about this show, there is at least some intrigue going into it with Jarrett and the King of the Mountain. Hopefully TNA can deliver a fun, straightforward wrestling show.