TNA Slammiversary XI
June 2, 2013
There was a video package to set up the Bully Ray vs. Sting match for the TNA World Title.
The announcers for the show are Todd Kenely, Mike Tenay and Taz.
If you read my Raw Deal column I tend to do play by play a lot in recaps. I think I'm going to change it up a bit for this. I'll hit the key spots, but I'm not going to mention every single move.
Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship: Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide
There is a steel structure with a X above the ring and that's where the X Division Title was placed. Suicide hit a nice double headscissors on both guys. King knocked down Suicide with a running knee attack followed by an overhead suplex on Sabin. Another headscissors variation by Suicide on King. Sabin hit a sweet combo spot with a dropkick on Suicide while also hitting a DDT on King. Tenay said that Sabin's been in 13 Ultimate X matches. King hit an impressive leaping kick on Suicide to send him to the floor. I like King's athleticism and cockiness as a heel. Then it was Suicide's turn to dominate the match with kicks to both guys. In the first ten minutes there weren't too many attempts at grabbing the X Title. When King did climb, Suicide took him down and then they each destroyed eachother with kicks. What's the point of hitting roundhouse kicks or enziguiri shots if a guy pops up right after? The crowd liked all the spots, but I thought it was a little much. Suicide hit a springboard dropkick onto both guys outside the ring. That was impressive. They did a very contrived Tower of Doom spot out of the corner that knocked everybody down. King and Suicide climbed up. King knocked Suicide down. Sabin knocked down King and he grabbed the X Division Title to win the match after 15 minutes.
Winner: Chris Sabin - New X Division Champion
Analysis: *** It was a spotfest. The crowd liked it, so that's good. I thought it could have used a bit more psychology, though. Big moves aren't big moves if you don't sell them that way. If somebody hits a roundhouse kick and the other guy comes back within three seconds what's the point of doing a big move? I know that's not something we usually get in Ultimate X matches, but it's not like it would hurt the match to have people actually sell moves. Sabin's win was predictable because he made the big comeback from missing a year due to a knee injury. I didn't think the other two guys had a chance to win.
Sabin had blood on his head. I think it happened toward the end of the match. Hulk Hogan showed up to raise the hand of Sabin.
Hogan had his left hand taped up because of his speedboat accident last week. Hogan sucked up to the fans saying Boston loves champion. He talked about how he beat up Andre The Giant in Boston too. There was a "Hogan" chant from the crowd. Hogan said that just like last year the X Division Champion can get a World Title shot at Destination X.
Analysis: That PPV doesn't exist anymore. They dropped 8 PPVs from the schedule. I guess they will do it as a TV special this year.
Hogan wanted to move on to current business when Ken Anderson, Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff of Aces & Eights showed up. Anderson said A&8 were going to steal the show. Hogan said the people of Boston aren't scared of terrorists and they're not scared of "pussies wearing leather" either. He gave them the finger too. Hogan said he might bitchslap Garett and he called him a bitch. He also said his dad was a bitch too. Hogan said they were in a six man right now against Magnus, Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy. The A&8's guys were upset about it even though the match is advertised. Magnus & Joe made their entrances. Jeff Hardy entered last.
Analysis: The "pussies wearing leather" comment was pretty shocking. Hogan also said "Boston" about a dozen times. What a suck up.
Jeff Hardy, Magnus & Samoa Joe vs. Ken Anderson, Garett Bischoff & Wes Brisco
Hardy was out for two months selling injuries. He also missed February because he wasn't allowed to appear in England for the tapings. I'm not sure why you bring back a top guy into an early match like this, but that's TNA for ya. Joe tagged in for his team the crowd exploded for his offense, which is another reason why he's ridiculously underused in TNA. Bischoff missed a move off the middle rope like a dummy as the crowd chanted "you can't wrestle" at him. They're shooting. Joe and Magnus worked together. They feuded at the end of last year, but are already together again because it's TNA where heel/face turns are usually ignored. The heels cheated to isolate Magnus in their corner. Brisco and Bischoff both of them have a lot of room for improvement. Magnus tagged in Hardy, who took out all the heels with his usual offense. Twist of Fate by Hardy on Bischoff. Whisper in the Wind on Brisco got a two count. All six guys started brawling. Crowd was chanting for Joe more than anybody. It looked like Hardy didn't hit the Twist of Fate cleanly on Brisco, so he did it twice and neither looked good. Earl Hebner was talking to Magnus & Joe as they were on the apron for some reason. That led Bischoff to trip up Hardy. Joe and Magnus did their snapmare into the top rope elbow spot. Brisco hit a low blow on Magnus and then he covered. Why? He's not legal. While Brisco was covering Magnus, Hardy came off the top with the Swanton Bomb for the win after 10 minutes.
Winners: Jeff Hardy, Magnus & Samoa Joe
Analysis: *1/2 That match was a mess. Why was Brisco covering Magnus? He's not the legal man. Why was Hebner distracted by Joe & Magnus when they were standing in the corner legally? Somebody messed up some spots in there somewhere. It was probably Bischoff or Brisco. I don't know. They could have set that finish up better. Nobody believed the heel team could win the match. It's a shame that talents like Hardy, Joe & Magnus were in such a meaningless match. Especially Hardy. Joe needs to get out of TNA too.
Recap of Sting's championship history. It showed him winning the TNA World Title at Bound for Glory 2006.
Joseph Park was interviewed by Jeremy Borash when Devon and Knux attacked him backstage. Park was bloodied. Cue the Abyss return.
I was sent a picture of the crowd at Slammiversay by @JDLang31 on Twitter:
As you can see, lots of empty seats on the side of the main camera. They likely moved people over to the other side. It's not that bad, though. The crowd has been loud too.
Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw
These are TNA Gutcheck winners fighting for a spot in the Bound for Glory Series. The crowd isn't that interested in this one. I don't blame them. There's not much of a story heading into it. Bradley was the heel that did a lot of cheap shot sand Shaw tried to rally the crowd behind him. Bradley stunned Shaw by slamming his head into the middle turnbuckle and then Bradley won the match with the Boom Stick clothesline. It went about five minutes.
Winner: Jay Bradley
Analysis: * It was an average matchup with little heat. Both guys need to do more to stand out, but it's still early in their TNA careers. There's plenty of time for fans to get use to them.
Post match, Bradley said he's the first one in the Bound for Glory Series and he's the future TNA World Champion. Taz said "yeah." Nobody at home believes that.
Backstage, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries talked to Jeremy Borash. I'm a fan of this team. They didn't say much other than Roode telling James Storm that his new partner Gunner isn't as good as him.
There was a video package for the TV Title match. It's the TV Title that is barely defended on television.
Television Championship: Devon (w/Knux) vs. Joseph Park
Park wouldn't enter the building. Devon did a promo wondering where he was. He mentioned his New York Knicks beating the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs. The Knicks did beat the Celtics, but then they got their asses kicked by the Pacers. Devon wanted the referee to count out Park to say that Devon won the match. The ref counted to ten.
Winner via Countout: Devon
Devon said that Park didn't have it in him and Abyss didn't have it in him either. He said he would whip Abyss' ass just like Park's. Of course that led to Abyss coming out in the predictable "surprise" moment. It's nice that they gave him so much time to find his outfit.
Abyss took care of Knux with a clothesline over the top to the floor. The referee rang the bell. How is this the match? Apparently Devon saying he'd beat Abyss means he now has to face him.
Television Championship: Devon (w/Knux) vs. Abyss
Devon was able to use cheap tactics to control the action early on. He did a leg drop and then did the Hogan ear cupping pose. A few people booed. Devon missed an attack off the middle rope, which led to the Abyss comeback. He knocked Knux off the apron. Chokeslam for Devon. Black Hole Slam by Abyss finished it off after about four minutes.
Winner: Abyss - New TV Champion
Abyss celebrated with the title as Taz complained about it saying that wasn't the official finish. They didn't even replay the finish.
Analysis: * I'm glad it was short. Boring match. Abyss is great in brawls. Not regular matches. They could say that it wasn't the official match, so Devon could get the TV Title back. I'm not sure what they will do. Using logic in TNA is a difficult task.
There was another Sting history clip as they showed Bound for Glory 2007 when Sting beat Kurt Angle for the World Title.
Hall of Fame Announcement
TNA President Dixie Carter entered to make the Hall of Fame announcement. Her theme music is horrible. I usually hit fast forward when she's on, but couldn't do it this place. She rambled on about the history of the company. She asked for the people that work in TNA to appear on the stage. She means the people actually booked for the show. It's not like all the wrestlers are there.
The next Hall of Fame inductee is Kurt Angle. That's what I predicted in my preview of the event. He's been in TNA since 2006. He's my favorite performer in the company. One of my favorite wrestlers ever. I'm happy for him, but at the same time hope he goes back to WWE someday. By putting him in the Hall of Fame, TNA can say they did it before WWE. I liked the video package they aired. Angle was emotional watching the video.
Dixie kept on talking. Finally, she gave Angle the microphone as the crowd applauded him. The crowd chanted "USA" because he won a gold medal, so that's enough of a reason. Angle said this was his best moment in Boston. He thanked the good Lord, his wife and kids. He thanked Dixie, her husband and Mr. & Mrs. Carter (that would be Dixie's rich parents). Angle mentioned the TNA Originals that were deserving of it too. Angle said it's the best roster in the world and they make him look good. He thanked Jeff Jarrett, the co-founder of TNA. He's also the guy married to Kurt's ex-wife Karen. The wrestling business is weird. Angle thanked the fans as the speech ended.
Analysis: The induction is at Bound for Glory weekend. That was cool other than Dixie talking too much. That's what she does.
There was a video of the third time Sting won the World Title at Bound for Glory 2008 when he beat Samoa Joe.
Sting was shown earlier in the day when he arrived to the arena.
Chris Daniels and Kazarian (aka Bad Influence) spoke to Jeremy Borash. This team is awesome. They basically ran down the tag team division. Another video package.
Tag Team Championships Elimination Match: Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode & Austin Aries vs. Bad Influence (Daniels & Kazarian) vs. James Storm & Gunner
There were a lot of quick tags early on. A brief Roode/Storm face off took place, but that didn't last long after Storm knocked him down. Gunner and Hernandez exchanged shoulderblocks, but then the heel teams hit cheap shots to enter the match. Hernandez gave a double backbreaker to Kazarian/Daniels using his shoulders. Great teamwork by Chavo and Hernandez. Bad Influence slowed it down by working on Hernandez in their corner. Then Aries & Roode worked together on Hernandez. Another strongman spot by Hernandez with a suplex on Aries & Roode. Hot tag to Chavo to little reaction. Chavo got a lot of offense on Kazarian including a backbreaker. Tenay mentioned Chavo's success in WCW & WWE as well. You think WWE would mention another company? No. Three Amigos suplex by Chavo as some fans chanted "Eddie," which is good. Everybody went at it in the ring with Storm hitting a Backstabber on Roode. Daniels grabbed a tag title and hit Storm in the left leg with it. Hernandez shoulderblock on Aries. Kazarian dropkick on Hernandez. Hernandez hit his powerbomb on Hernandez. Chavo with a Frog Splash on Kazarian. Daniels attacked Chavo with the tag title belt. Earl Hebner DQ'd Daniels & Kazarian.
Daniels & Kazarian eliminated
Immediately following that, Aries covered Chavo and eliminated that. All of that happened 12 minutes into the match.
Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez eliminated
Aries and Roode celebrated their actions. That meant that there would be new tag team champions. The heels worked on Gunner. He got the hot tag to Storm, who limped around a little bit. Storm hit the DDT off the ropes. I almost called it the Randy Orton DDT, but I chose not to. Catapult into a DDT spot by Gunner & Storm. Gunner put Roode in the Gun Rack (Torture Rack), but Aries broke it up. Aries with a kneebreaker on Gunner. Aries dropkick in the corner followed by the Roode spinebuster. Aries hit the 450 Splash on Gunner. He kicked out at two. Good nearfall. Storm hit the Codebreaker (another familiar move huh?) on Aries. They knocked Roode outside the ring. Storm hit the Last Call superkick and then Gunner put Aries in the Gun Rack. Aries gave up. New tag team champions in a match that went 17 minutes.
Winners: James Storm & Gunner - New Tag Team Champions
Analysis: ***1/2 Best match of the show so far. I had high hopes for it and it was pretty good as expected. I didn't think they'd put the titles on Gunner & Storm so soon. I thought that was a story that they should have built up until Bound for Glory. It would have made more sense. This was a bit rushed, but the crowd did like it. I thought Roode & Aries were the standouts in the match. Kudos to Storm for working hard despite his recent injuries.
No replay of the finishing sequence or the eliminations in the match. Why not? You should have replays. They have too many video packages before the match and not enough replays after the matches.
Brooke Hogan talked to Jeremy Borash about the Last Knockout Standing match. She said it was the first Last Knockout Standing match even though Mickie James had one with Madison Rayne before. She looked very Booblicious as usual. I honestly don't know or care what she said. Borash asked about Bully Ray, but she said she couldn't talk about that now and left.
They aired a video package for the Last Knockout Standing match. The ref of the match ODB made her entrance.
Last Knockout Standing: Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
Terrell was on fire as Taz said women had "estrogen issues" during his rambling version of commentary. Remember when Taz was announcing a product he cared about? He was great at that. Kim applied a submission hold leading to a four count. Top rope dropkick by Kim knocked down Terrell again. Terrell used hair whips to regain control of the match. In a very contrived spot, Terrell jumped off the top rope and into Kim, who held a steel chair in her hand. A few fans chanted "holy shit" during it. I really mean a few. The crowd is quiet for this matchup. Kim went for the ringpost figure four and she locked it in. That's one of my favorite moves in wrestling that Bret Hart made famous in 1997. I like seeing a fellow Canadian like Kim using that hold. She only held it on for about five seconds. Terrell avoided a corner charge and Kim went right into a steel chair wedged between the top/middle rope. Kim was on the floor. That was an awesome spot. Terrell applied the ring post figure four on Kim. Nice revenge spot there. Terrell charged, Kim moved and Terrell went face first into the "steel" ramp that was beside the ring. Terrell charged, Kim tripped her up and Terrell took a back bump on the ramp. ODB counted to 9 as Terrell got back up. Terrell countered a piledriver attempt by grabbing a headlock and hit a RKO-like maneuver off the ramp onto the floor beside the ring. They shot it from behind so you couldn't see the landing. That was an impressive spot. Taryn got up at 9 while Gail was down for the 10 count, so the match ended there after 9 minutes.
Winner: Taryn Terrell
The replay of the running bulldog spot by Terrell showed that Kim actually landed on her, so that made it look less effective. It was still an innovative spot.
Analysis: **1/2 Kim was awesome. That spot where she went into the chair was outstanding and she sold it perfectly. Terrell did a good job of putting up a fight and showing she belonged too. That spot off the ramp onto the floor was very unique and memorable. It was a big win for Terrell. I liked how it was booked. I imagine that Terrell becomes the top contender to Knockouts Champion Mickie James, who is in the midst of a heel turn.
There was another Sting moment when he won the TNA World Title in the summer of 2010.
Video package for Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles.
Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
I miss the old AJ Styles theme. The crowd didn't really know how to react to Styles in the early going. Angle gave him a nice back body drop. Angle had a bandaged left knee, so Styles hit a missile dropkick off the top to the knee of Angle. Styles applied a single leg crab that focused on the left leg of Angle. Clothesline from Angle, but he was selling the knee after the move. Angle hit an overhead belly to belly suplex for two. Overhead suplex by Angle also got a two count. Angle hit two German Suplexes on Styles and then a third one where Styles took the bump on his stomach. Angle destroyed Styles with an overhead belly to belly suplex into the corner. That followed a spot off the top rope where Styles landed on his feet. Fantastic spot. Styles came back with a spinning back punch followed by a clothesline to give him the momentum. Angle kicked Styles in the gut after a springboard and then he hit the Angle Slam for a two count. The crowd thought that was it. Good nearfall spot there.
Styles got out of the Ankle Lock. Styles applied the Calf Killer submission move on the left leg of Angle. Angle turned it into the Ankle Lock. That was sweet. One thing I've always loved about Angle is that he has always been amazing at doing reversal spots in a realistic way. Angle took it to the mat with the Heel Hook version of the Ankle Lock, but Styles kicked his way out of it. They were at the 15 minute mark at this point. Angle missed a corner charge. Running dropkick in the corner by Styles while Angle was upside down. Angle came back with another nearfall on a rollup, but Styles kicked out. Angle wanted the Angle Slam. Styles avoided that. Angle rolled him up and stacked him up for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Analysis: **** That was an awesome match as I expected it to be. You can always mark these guys down for four stars out of five if they get that much time. That spot off the top rope where Styles backflipped to avoid a suplex and then Angle suplexed him into the turnbuckle was awesome. The counter wrestling is what made it really stand out. I think in terms of the storyline it would have helped Styles more if he got the win. I'm not sure what the direction is going to be with him long term. Angle doesn't need wins. In the end it doesn't matter, but I thought a Styles win would have meant more for him.
Fan results of a poll for the winner of the main event: Sting 64%-Bully Ray 36%.
Backstage, Bully Ray did a promo talking trash about Sting. He mentioned one move that wrestlers rarely use anymore. That's the piledriver. He said that's the move he's going to beat Sting with. "I'm going to break your neck."
They aired the video package for Bully Ray vs. Sting coming up in the main event.
TNA World Championship - No Holds Barred: Bully Ray vs. Sting
Sting attacked Ray with the World Title right away. Sting wrestled in the t-shirt like usual while Ray had the leather jacket plus the shirt he usually wears. Fans were chanting "you still got it" at Sting about one minute into the match. It's a little early. Sting asked for the World Title, so ringside attendant So Cal Val handed it to him and he hit Ray with it twice. They went outside the ring where Bully hit a big clothesline. Ray couldn't find any weapons. It reminded me of his match with Jeff Hardy where Hardy couldn't find a table, so he had to walk all the way to the top of the ramp and carry it to the ring. It took a full minute. Why don't they put these weapons under the ring? Ray looked at three sections of the ring to find a something under the ring, but couldn't find one. TNA fail there. He ran all the way backstage to get a steel chair. He enters the arena through the crowd, yet has to go backstage to get a chair? Makes sense. Sting got the chair and hit Ray in the back with it. While they were on the ramp, Brooke Hogan showed up. She looked concerned for her storyline husband. Sting hit Ray in the back with the chair. He told Brooke to go backstage. She looked dumbfounded, which is a natural look for her.
That delay allowed Ray to hit a low blow on Sting. Ray used the steel chair to his advantage. He got some shots in. In the center of the ring, Ray hit the piledriver just like he said before the match. Sting kicked out at two. That was a good nearfall. Ray set up a table in the ring. Sting made the comeback, but Ray came back with a stiff powerbomb through the table. He covered and Sting kicked out at two. That was another excellent nearfall. Taz handed Ray a knife. Yes. A knife. Ray cut some of the rope outside the ring. He ripped up the canvas. He took the cover off to expose the wood underneath the padding. Ray hit another piledriver this time on the wood. Sting kicked out at two again. Sting regained control with a back body drop and then gave Ray a Scorpion Death Drop right onto the wood. Members of the Aces & Eights broke up the pin. That was expected.
The A&8 guys were Doc, Knux, Brisco & Bischoff. Sting was able to fight them off because they're a bunch of losers. We already saw them lose earlier in the show to prove that. Devon threw a chain in that Sting caught. He hit Ray with it. Earl Hebner was counting the pin when Devon pulled Hebner out. Ray got the hammer from Anderson. Sting went to the top rope and Ray hit him in the head with the hammer to knock out Sting. Ray covered to win the match. It went about 14 minutes.
Winner: Bully Ray
Analysis: *1/2 I thought he would retain the title. It is too soon to take it off him. Overbooked like usual. That's what TNA does in main events far too often. What's sad is that earlier in the show you had these TNA guys working together to beat the Aces & Eights yet in the main event there's no help for Sting when he has to deal with the attack of many men.
On Thursday, Hogan's going to go out there saying they have to work together to stop A&8 even though nobody helped Sting when he needed it. Where's Hardy, Joe, Magnus and the other faces that always talk about trying to stop A&8? It's silly. It makes the babyfaces look dumb. You can at least have them come out, have the heels dispatch them and then have Bully win. By booking it like this they basically said Sting has no friends and the babyfaces in the company are all idiots. One of those idiots will probably beat Bully Ray for the World Title in four months. Hopefully they know how to book that right.
The show was okay. Nothing special. Call it a 6 out of 10 or so.
I thought Angle/Styles was excellent, but think they've also had better matches too.
The elimination tag was a lot of fun although I would have liked to see one of the heel teams win.
I guess the big story of the night is that Sting will never get a TNA World Title shot again. I don't think it's that big of deal. The guy is in his 50s and shouldn't be booked to get title shots anyway. Hopefully that stipulation holds because they have other babyfaces that can be in that spot.
Everybody worked hard. It wasn't a lack of effort. I just don't think anything on the show was that special or worth going out of your way to see. I also think the main event could have been booked better, but that's been an issue in TNA for many years now.
Thanks for reading.
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