It’s technically in the past because TNA have taped the five weeks of TV following this event before it even aired, but it’s TNA’s 13th birthday and their Slammiversary PPV…
TNA Slammiversary opens with a video package of previous TNA stars and events set to classical music. It was meant to come off as epic, but actually just feels sad as the majority of the people in the video are no longer with the company. And following the mass exodus over the last day or so, many of the people on the card are no longer with the company.
1. Tigre Uno vs. DJ Z vs. Manik in an elimination match for the X-Division Title
Close your eyes and picture every X-Division match you’ve ever seen over the last 13 years. This was that match. Everyone tried hard, but these matches are now incredibly stale. Tigre Uno came out with the belt as champion, even though he’s already lost the belt at the tapings. At one point, The Pope said on commentary, “shades of Elijah Burke!” which was his gimmick in WWE. Very odd. Josh Matthews tried to cover up for him by saying, “don’t you mean D’Angelo Dinero?”. Very, very odd. They added an elimination stipulation to this match for no reason whatsoever. DJ Z was eliminated first by Tigre Uno, but then Uno pinned Manik about a minute later – making the elimination ruling totally redundant. Only in TNA. Good match.
Backstage, Robbie E cut a bizarre promo where he pretended to be a chicken, but then he got serious and hyped up the match with Jesse Godderz. Before that, Jeremy Borash also cut a promo thanking all of their partners and previous stars for being involved in TNA. This felt like a goodbye promo for Borash.
2. Jesse “The Man” Godderz vs. Robbie E
These two went really long, and not for the better. It was actually a pretty fun match and they both tried really hard, but the time it was given was a detriment. The crowd was really into it at the start, but got burned out before the end. Jesse is now “The Man” and did a promo before the match, but Robbie E cut him off. Jesse’s main tactic in the match was to win via a bear hug. It didn’t work. Robbie kept making comebacks, but Jesse would cut him off for near falls. They kicked out of each other’s big moves and Robbie worked his way out of Jesse’s Adonis Lock. Finally, Robbie hit the Reverse DDT for the win.
Backstage, Matt Hardy cut a promo about winning King of the Mountain and proving he was more than just a great tag team wrestler.
3. Bram vs. Matt Morgan in a Street Fight
Matt Morgan made his return to TNA PPV and challenged Bram to a Street Fight. What an idiot – Bram’s whole gimmick is that he’s the best at street fights. The commentators kept hyping up Morgan as the Next Big Thing and Tenay even said that he was a “can’t miss prospect”. The guy has been wrestling for 12 years – I think everyone missed the ‘prospect’. They had a very basic gimmick match and there was lots of plunder involved. There was a bizarre spot where Bram went to the outside to find a weapon under the ring but couldn’t find it. He got back into the ring, picked up a chair, put it down, and went back outside to look again. In the end, he didn’t find it and got back in the ring so Morgan could make his comeback. I think Morgan was hurt because he was pointing to his throat. Morgan Chokeslammed him onto chairs, but Bram kicked out. He went to try again, but Bram low-blowed him and hit a DDT of his own on the chairs for the win.
Backstage, Borash interviewed EC3 who pretended he wasn’t the TNA Champion. He hyped up his match with Kurt Angle on Wednesday, which has already happened. This match was taken off the PPV because they thought it would pop a rating on TV, but they still hyped it here. Only in TNA.
4. Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards with the winner getting to pick the stips for the final of the Best of Five series
Austin Aries is the first man on this card who is done with the company now, so this was his final night in TNA. He, of course, did not care and worked the most basic of styles possible. Davey Richards, who is still with the company, matched Aries lack of effort. But do you know what, they had the best match on the show. This was a lot of fun. They hit some decent spots including a tope and double sledgehammer to the outside. As the match came to the close, both men picked up the pace to create some great near falls. Finally, Aries – the man who is leaving the company – rolled up a distracted Davey – the man who is staying with the company – for the win. Yep. Only in TNA. Aries then got on the mic to announce the stips that we already knew because the match has already been taped. He first swerved us and announced a bra and panties match, but then said he was joking and announced a 30-minute Iron Man match. Even at half-effort, these two men pulled out a brilliant match.
Backstage, Eric Young cut a crazy man promo. He also sent out a crazy man tweet, but we’ll come on to that later.
5. The Dollhouse vs. Awesome Kong and Brooke
Tayrn came out with the championship she lost at the tapings and cut a superb promo. She’s really, really good. Thankfully, she’s still staying with the company – much to Bob Ryder’s chagrin as he was able to chastise Dave Meltzer on Twitter for “bad journalism” – ignoring the fact that Bob Ryder has denied about 99% of Metlzer’s reporting, which ended up being right. This match was what it was. Faces ran wild early on, but Brooke was cut off by the heels. Kong is looking much trimmer, but still isn’t moving around the ring very well. There was a terribly timed fake tag spot by the heels. Only in TNA. In the end, Brooke tagged in Kong who ran wild and Brooke got the win on Jade with a top rope X-Factor which is called, get this, The Butterface Maker. What?!
Backstage, Borash interviewed Magnus who said, in so many words, that this would be both his and James Storm’s last match in the company. So, this blood feud which has involved wife-killing and baby-stealing gets hyped up with this promo where Magnus just says it’s all fake. Good job, guys.
6. James Storm vs. Magnus in an Unsanctioned Match
As Bryan Alverez pointed out, this is technically an “everyone leaves town match”. Following on from the street fight earlier in the show, this was more or less the same match. They did a spot in the back where Earl Hebner kept screaming “this is high voltage” and Magnus kicked a box that turned off all the power in the Impact Zone and put up a test screen. I think this was meant to get a pop, but when the sound came back on everyone boo’d. Nice try. Nasty looking spot with Magnus going through a table with a flying elbow – that looked like it sucked for him. Lots of plunder used. Storm and Hebner got salt in their eyes, so Magnus couldn’t pin Storm. Lots of near falls and weapons used. They set up a guardrail and Magnus superplexed him onto it. Ouch. Finish came when they both hit each other with beer bottles and Storm’s limp body fell on top of Magnus’ limp body. So Storm, the dastardly heel who nearly killed Mickie James, wins the feud. Storm goes to high five people on the outside, but they cut away quickly.
Backstage, Drew Galloway cut a promo about King of the Mountain. Guess what? He said he would win it. He also said this was the biggest match of his career and he would end the Beat Down Clan on Wednesday.
So then the commentator’s microphones cut out. We got interrupted bits of chatter, but nothing worked. So we just watched geeks cleaning out the ring from the last match. When they were done, we just watched an empty ring with no commentary. Eventually, a match started.
7. EC3 and Tyrus vs. Mr. Anderson and Lashley
This was an absolutely nothing match that was put in the death spot. Highlight was Lashley wearing a Bellator t-shirt, an MMA promotion that airs on Spike TV. Amazing. Commentator’s finally got their mics working and Pope made OVW references throughout the match. Off night for The Pope. The heels got the heat on Lashley. What? That’s like getting the heat on Brock Lesnar. Crowd was dead for this. It’s been a long night. Broke down into a four-way and Tyrus is exposed for how bad he really is. In the end, Lashley was pinned by EC3, the number one contender here, but TNA Champion is actuality.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett’s side boob were interviewed about King of the Mountain. You’ll never guess what Jarrett talked about.
8. Drew Galloway vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Matt Hardy vs. Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode in a King of the Mountain Match for the King of the Mountain Championship
This was the match that Bob Ryder tweeted about and said, “sounds confusing, but always turns out to be an exciting match.” He was mostly right. It was confusing, but was a fairly fun match. The more confusing thing was its storytelling. Jeff Jarrett – the man who claimed he was winning this match to steal a title from TNA – was played as the plucky babyface who was trying desperately to win but kept getting cut off by dirty TNA heels. The crowd were super into Jeff who, once again, is trying to kill TNA. So bizarre. Jeff was pinned in about a minute and so was confined to the penalty box for two minutes. When he got out, he was pinned again. In the end, he finally got a pinfall so was eligible to hang the belt in this reverse ladder match. Young and Roode reformed Team Canada for a bit, but turned on each other pretty quickly. Some great spots including Galloway doing a flip dive off the penalty box and Young piledriving Jarrett onto a ladder bridge – that last one was really nuts. In the end, Jarrett gave Young The Stroke off the ladder and climbed up to hang the new King of the Mountain Championship. So Jarrett wins and is leaving with the belt. Seen as though he was the only person not at the tapings and none of the other man had the belt, Jarrett was the clear winner going in.
Overall, this was a very “TNA” show. Some good, some bad and a lot of weird booking. They seem to be building to either Jarrett taking over TNA and turning it into Global Force Wrestling, or a TNA vs. GFW feud. Magnus has some dates booked with GFW and Storm will likely head there too. There was even a moment during the commentary where Josh accused Pope of “looking for another job”, which seems to hint he’ll also be going to GFW to do commentary there. Yippee? Eric Young tweeted “fuck you” to anyone who didn’t like it, but deleted and changed it to “I feel sorry for you”. He also shouted at a few other people who didn’t like it. Clearly taking lessons from Borash and Bob Ryder from the final days of WCW where they kept having a go at callers who didn’t like Nitro on WCW Live. Actually, this whole PPV had that WCW Greed feel about it.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.