On Sunday, June 10 TNA presented Slammiversary. Expectations were pretty much where they should have been. Not high but not in the dirt. We were expected to see a bewildering Hall of Fame induction, a Garrett Bischoff match, a Crimson challenge, Sting in the main event and it was announced there would be a bizarre appearance by Christian Cage. However, Bobby Roode was also in the main event and there was two matches with strong potential (Aries vs. Joe and Angle/Styles vs. Daniels/Kaz). Plus you have to watch Impact Wrestling to know that Joseph Park is one of the best things going for wrestling entertainment today.
What we ended up getting was easily the best Wrestling PPV so far this year. Aries vs. Joe kicked it off with easily one of the best 12 minute matches you’ll ever see. Joe didn’t look lazy or sloppy and both men went 120mph. It was quickly noticeable that the 5,500 paid attendance at the College Park Centre in Arlington, Texas was hot for the action and with an excellent set, Impact Wrestling looked “major league” for the first time in America. Kid Kash and Hernandez then came out for a surprising match that meant nothing (except for Hernandez being a Texas native). The Devon/Garrett vs. Robbie E/Robbie T match was short and sweet before it could get bitter (Garrett Bischoff does not belong in a wrestling ring). The Three Way match for the number one contender wasn’t terrible but it certainly borderlined on mediocre as Ken Anderson defeated Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to receive a title shot whenever (I’m expecting Aries to get the shot first for Destination X).
We then got one of the matches we thought we would regret. Crimson came out to cut a promo on Texas and how great his terrible streak is. He mentioned that Texas could send any ranger or cowboy out to challenge him. Cowboy you say? Out came James Storm on fire who ended the worst streak in possibly wrestling history. Storm was fantastic in this and you have to give credit to Crimson as well. He plays a heel quite well and the beating he took made him look like he just wasn’t on James Storm’s level. Storm seems like he’s on fire and if they do a Bound For Glory series again, the result should be unsurprising. Afterward, Aries came out and stated he would become a main eventer no matter what it takes. I expect this to build up for Destination X.
Sting was the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. Should have been Jeff Jarrett but not a bad choice overall.
In a surprising title switch, Miss Tessmacher (Brooke Hogan stole her first name) defeated Gail Kim to end her Knockouts Title reign as the hometown favourite. We then had a match I was quite excited to see in Joseph Park vs. Bully Ray. It was just pure fun to see Joseph Park (actually Abyss for those not paying attention) play a non wrestler trying to fight the best bully in the business. Great action not meant to be missed. This is how you bring the fun, WWE. I won’t give away the finish as it is meant to be seen. Trust me. Afterwards we saw… Christian Cage? Yes, due to the agreement between TNA and WWE coming from Ric Flair showing up at the WWE Hall of Fame, Christian Cage comes out and says a few nice words (and points out the ring is missing a few corners) to present one of the most surprising appearances in a wrestling ring in recent memory.
Following was a major contender for match of the year (with Elgin/Richards and Finlay/Tajiri) as AJ Styles and Kurt Angle defeated Kazarian and Christopher Daniels for the TNA Tag Championship. Watch this match folks. There’s so much good in it, especially as it makes you pine for the return of great tag team wrestling. This match was everything you wanted to see from those four and exemplified the term, “Total Nonstop Action”. Once again, do not miss it.
Finally we had “TNA Hall of Famer” Sting take on Bobby Roode. Roode came out with his old robe while Sting had a Dark Knight logo plastered on his face. The match plodded a bit but they did what they could. Sting would be a much better fit as a midcard legend beating on guys like Robbie E and Crimson. James Storm ended up leaving a six pack near the ring and Bobby Roode used a bottle to break open Sting (must have hurt. The bottle didn’t break) to retain the TNA Heavyweight Championship. Unless wrestling psychology goes completely over your head, Roode using James Storm bottle should clue you in on what TNA is planning to build up to in the coming months. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode at Bound For Glory? Sting beat down Roode after the bell, angry about the loss.
Overall, this was a fantastic wrestling card. This is how three hours of wrestling programming is meant to be. Maybe not every match was great but there was something for everyone and very few disappointments. For every bizarre decision by the company (Brooke Hogan, Garrett Bischoff, that TMZ idea we still haven’t seen implemented…) it seems as if this new Hogan regime in TNA is actually booking the company responsibly. It doesn’t feel like an Eric Bischoff product and certainly doesn’t feel like a Vince Russo product. This is starting to become an excellent mainstream wrestling product. TNA is certainly not known for consistency and there’s nothing wrong with waiting with baited breath on the next TNA blunder but for now?
Enjoy the ride.
|1||Austin Aries (c) defeated Samoa Joe||Singles match for the TNA X Division Championship||11:44|
|2||Hernandez defeated Kid Kash||Singles match||5:50|
|3||Devon and Garett Bischoff defeated Robbie E and Robbie T||Tag Team match||5:55|
|4||Mr. Anderson defeated Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy||Three Way match to determine the number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship||11:22|
|5||James Storm defeated Crimson||Open Challenge match||2:07|
|6||Miss Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim (c)||Singles match for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship||7:01|
|7||Joseph Park defeated Bully Ray||Hardcore match||10:20|
|8||A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian (c)||Tag Team match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship||14:20|
|9||Bobby Roode (c) defeated Sting||Singles match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship||11:59|