Slammiversary 2016: So TNA
Date: June 12, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
TNA is back on pay per view with their annual anniversary show featuring something close to a triple main event. First and foremost we have TNA World Champion Drew Galloway defending against Lashley in a submission/KO only match. Next, Mike Bennett is finally giving Ethan Carter III his rematch after Carter ran through a string of opponents to earn another shot at him. Finally there’s arguably the real main event as Matt Hardy faces Jeff Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match. Let’s get to it.
We open with the roster on the stage for a moment of silence for the victims in last night’s Orlando shooting.
The opening video is a pretty basic one with a quick clip on each match.
We hear Jeremy Borash hyping up Full Metal Mayhem, which I think was supposed to be just for the live crowd.
X-Division Title: Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Andrew Everett vs. DJZ
Lee is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. Before the bell, Shane Helms is banned from ringside. It’s a big brawl on the floor to start with DJZ chopping Trevor and Eddie fighting Everett on the other side. Everett is sent into the steps and the other three get inside for the opening bell. Lee gets double teamed until they all head to the floor, allowing Everett to get back inside for a big corkscrew plancha.
The Helms Dynasty (Everett and Lee) start double teaming Eddie with a drop toehold into a knee to the head, only to have DJZ to come back in with a double elbow to the jaw. DJZ holds the ropes open for an Edwards dive onto Everett, only to have Andrew run back inside for a running shooting star press and a near fall on DJZ. Lee isn’t happy with that and gets in an argument with his stablemate, leaving Eddie to chop both heels in the corner.
The champ gets two on Eddie off that spinning powerslam of his but Everett is right back up to eat a superkick from Edwards for two. Lee throws DJZ off the top for a big crash, leaving Everett to hit a springboard shooting star and a near fall on Eddie to leave everyone down. DJZ’s tornado DDT gets two on Everett but Lee blasts him with a jumping knee to the face. Back in and Eddie counters Trevor’s fisherman’s buster into a small package for the pin and the title at 10:11.
Rating: B. This was exactly what it needed to be with a bunch of big spots and a white hot pace throughout. Unfortunately that’s probably it for the title meaning anything until we get to Bound For Glory and the likely showdown between Helms and Edwards that I don’t think many people are really looking forward to seeing. This was nothing we haven’t seen before but it’s nice to have a regular match instead of Ultimate X for the sake of having Ultimate X.
Lashley is warming up.
The announcers run down the card.
Ethan Carter III says tonight he’s taking Mike Bennett to church where the people are going to be singing Trouble Trouble Trouble.
Clips of Sting being announced as the first member of the TNA Hall of Fame.
Tribunal vs. Grado/Mahabali Shera
Serious vs. fun with Al Snow as the Tribunal’s coach. Snow says his hero Donald Trump is going to make America great again and promises to make wrestling great again starting here tonight. The Tribunal jumps Shera to start and it’s Baraka choking him against the ropes. Baron chokes even more as the announcers talk about how none of these four have been on a Slammiversary yet. Considering two of them have only been hired for about a month, that’s not a huge surprise.
Baraka works on a chinlock but gets caught in a quick Sky High for a breather. Baron runs around the ring to pull Grado off the apron but Grado comes in anyway and starts cleaning house, including taking away Snow’s whistle. Shera springboards in to take out both French villains as everything breaks down. Shera and Dax go outside as Grado kicks Baraka in the chest for a delayed two as Snow had the referee. Back up and a quick backbreaker/middle rope elbow combination puts Grado away at 7:33.
Rating: D+. It was fine but should have been a nothing TV match instead of taking away a pay per view spot. The Tribunal really comes off as little more than a midcard heel act at their peak, despite both of them having a great look. Nothing match of course but was anyone expecting anything else?
Braxton Sutter comes up to James Storm for an introduction. They seem to get along and they go off for a chat.
We recap Maria Kanellis vs. Gail Kim despite Maria being out of the match with a broken hand. Basically it’s wrestling vs. entertainment as Maria is in charge of the Knockouts and wants to make them a bigger deal while Kim says she has no room to talk since she’s not a wrestler. Somehow this is supposed to make us want to cheer for Kim.
Gail Kim comes out for the match but Maria’s hand is in a cast. Allie says Maria deserves sympathy but Gail says Maria is a liar. Billy Corgan comes out to show us an X-Ray and the hand is indeed broken. Instead of just putting Allie in Maria’s place, Gail is being added to the Knockouts Title match right now.
Knockouts Title: Sienna vs. Gail Kim vs. Jade
Jade is defending. Sienna gets double teamed to start but she comes right back by choking Jade in the corner. Gail is tied up in the Tree of Woe and Sienna uses her break to crank on Jade’s neck. Everyone gets back up and Sienna fireman’s carries both of them at the same time for a big drop as everyone heads outside.
All three get knocked down but slide back in at the same time to start chopping it out. Sienna backdrops Gail to the floor and Jade springboards into a tornado DDT for two. Gail is back in with a hurricanrana on the champ and Sienna adds an AK-47. Eat Defeat drops Sienna but Allie pulls her out at two. Sienna gets the title as Marti Bell comes in to hit Jade with something to give Sienna the title at 7:40.
Rating: C-. Unnecessary ending aside, it’s nice to get the title off Jade to end that completely dead reign. Maria has become the first interesting thing in the division in a long time and it makes sense to have her get control of the title in addition to the division. Now we can have Gail Kim STAND UP FOR WRESTLING and take the title in a big showdown at Bound For Glory, likely after her Hall of Fame induction. Gail’s knee injury from Impact was mentioned but didn’t factor into the match.
Lashley says there’s a big fight feel tonight and makes JB practice announcing him as the new World Champion.
Here’s James Storm to talk about how fourteen years ago, this company gave a bunch of kids a chance on Wednesday nights. He’s still here though and loves the idea of doing things his way. Storm is here in Orlando, which draws an ORLANDO chant. Tonight, Storm wants to give a new kid an opportunity so get out here Braxton Sutter.
James Storm vs. Braxton Sutter
Apparently Storm told Sutter that it took him a few months to get his first win out of the way. Eh a few months, his second match, same difference. They start fast with Sutter dropping him with a shoulder but running into an armdrag. A dropkick staggers Sutter and an enziguri from the apron makes things worse. Sutter comes back with a high cross body for two and a powerslam for the same, followed by a suplex into the buckle for a third two count. Back up and Sutter charges into a Codebreaker, followed by the Last Call for the pin at 6:47.
Rating: C. Well that happened. I’m so glad they had Sutter get a strong push out of the gate and then have him lose here, probably for the sake of honoring TNA’s history or whatever. TNA is dying for fresh blood right now and having someone new with a lot of potential lose to James Storm clean isn’t the right way. I’d be more fine with this if Storm was heading up the card but I really can’t picture that happening.
Eli Drake says we won’t be seeing champions go 0-3 because he is the namer of the dummies. Bram might just be crazy enough to put his life on the line to take the King of the Mountain Title but if that’s what he thinks, Bram really is a cross eyed dummy, yeah. That guy can just command a camera.
Video of Kurt Angle being announced for the Hall of Fame.
King of the Mountain Title: Bram vs. Eli Drake
Bram is challenging after Drake cashed in Feast or Fired to take the title. Drake jumps him to start but backs off when Bram gets to his feet. An early Brighter Side of Suffering attempt sends the champ out to the floor and that’s enough for Eli so far. Drake tries to leave and says we’ll do this next month, only to have Bram punch him back to the ring.
Bram teases the Brighter Side of Suffering on exposed concrete but Drake backdrops him for a long count from the referee. A neckbreaker gets two for Drake but it’s a double clothesline to put both guys down. Back up and Bram starts slugging away, followed by a jumping knee to the face and Pop Up Powerbomb for two. Now the Brighter Side of Suffering connects and Drake rolls straight to the floor. Back in and Drake hits his clothesline and neckbreaker combo (Blunt Force Trauma) for the pin to retain at 8:36.
Rating: C. I’m a big Drake fan and he’s starting to come around (though a new finisher would really help him) so this was the right call. Bram is fine in his role and could be something if TNA would stick with him but Drake comes off like a Miz: he can command a crowd really well and can wrestle well enough to get through a match.
Mike Bennett talks about being the man who did what no one else could and promises that after tonight, the fans are going to say they believe.
Recap of Mike Bennett vs. Ethan Carter III, which is built around the idea of Bennett being the first person to ever beat Carter and Ethan wanting a rematch to get his revenge after all the cheating in their other matches. Carter had to walk through a road of redemption to get his shot.
Mike Bennett vs. Ethan Carter III
They lock up to start and it’s an early standoff. The fans chant NO WE DON’T as Carter scores with a few shoulders. Ethan knocks him to the floor but eats a clothesline as the fans stay on Carter’s side. Bennett makes things a bit more serious with an elevated DDT off the barricade onto the ramp. It’s way too early for that to end the match though so Bennett grabs a neckbreaker back inside.
The Miracle in Progress is broken up and Ethan plants him with a sitout powerbomb for two. Carter can’t get the 1%er either and Mike gets two off a spinebuster. Bennett gets in a cutter but Ethan pops up for a clothesline to put both guys down. A flapjack sets up the 1%er but Bennett gets out at two. They head to the apron with Carter hitting his TK3 onto the apron, only to go up top and dive into another cutter.
Bennett drops him with a piledriver for two but Ethan rolls some German suplexes and hits another 1%er with Maria throwing a chair in to distract the referee. The referee gets rid of her but it’s a Miracle in Progress onto the chair for two more. Ethan gets up and grabs another TK3 followed by the 1%er for the pin at 15:03.
Rating: B+. This was the match I was looking forward to the most and it delivered as well as I was expecting. These two are a pair of young guys with good chemistry and a lot of talent, which is why this has been the best feud TNA has done in a good while. I’m sure we’ll see a rubber match between them and it’s going to be a lot of fun as well, which gives me a reason to keep watching, for now at least.
Matt Hardy is ready to end Nero.
We recap Matt vs. Jeff, which is over Matt being obsessed with defeating his brother because Jeff has broken him or whatever Matt is babbling about this week. For some reason this has turned him into some combination of Raven and Sweeney Todd with a bad British accent.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Full Metal Mayhem (basically TLC with pins) and Matt’s wife introduces him as broken, meaning he has piano music. Jeff attacks in the aisle to start but Matt comes back with a bunch of weapons. A snap suplex puts Jeff down on the floor as Matt empties a trashcan full of weapons, which only allows Jeff to take over with some hard shots. Jeff crushes him with a ladder up against the post and drives him through a table (that’s not metal) for two.
Back in and Jeff puts a huge ladder completely across the ring with Matt on top for a top rope splash and another near fall. The Swanton hits knees though and Matt gets two of his own. Matt starts biting Jeff’s ear because a Mike Tyson reference seems appropriate here. A Side Effect on the apron knocks Jeff silly but Matt pulls out a keyboard because he’s broken. He bridges it between the apron and a piece of the barricade so Matt can powerbomb Jeff through the keyboard for two.
Matt puts Jeff on a table on the floor and climbs a ladder inside, only to have Jeff come in and send them both crashing into the turnbuckle. It’s Jeff up first with a basement dropkick for two, followed by the Twist of Fate. Ok that he did rip off from Matt. Now the Swanton connects for two more and they head outside next to two tables. Jeff gets another Twist of Fate through one of the tables for two as the fans aren’t really reacting since they’re waiting on the big spot. Matt is laid on the other table and Jeff Swantons off the top through him for the pin at 16:56.
Rating: B-. Uh, that’s it? That’s what they’ve dedicated the most time of any match to on TV? A decent TLC match with a KEYBOARD as the big spot? The ending was nothing special but I’d rather have it be a “safe” (by comparison at least) spot instead of Jeff jumping off the roof or whatever he was hinting at doing. Hopefully this wraps the whole thing up though as Matt really doesn’t need to do anything else, though I’m sure we’ll get another match because these two are MONEY. Like enough money for a Coke or something but it’s still MONEY.
Matt walks off as Jeff celebrates with fans.
Decay says you can’t run from them because they never stay the same. The BroMans’ resurrection will lead to their demise.
Tag Team Titles: Decay vs. BroMans
Decay is defending. Robbie goes after Abyss to start but Steve gets in a cheap shot to take over. It’s quickly off to Jesse as everything breaks down early. Robbie dives off the top to take out the champs, followed by Jesse throwing Rosemary onto them as well. Things settle back down to Abyss choking Jesse in the corner and Steve gets in a shot to the back of the head.
Jesse finally knocks Abyss away and makes the hot tag off to Robbie for a Boom Drop on Steve. Rosemary mists Abyss by mistake and the blind monster chokeslams Steve. The BroDown and Adonis Lock has Steve tapping but Abyss mists the referee by mistake. The women get in a fight as Steve gets in a belt shot for two on Godderz because BLOWING MIST IN A REFEREE’S EYES isn’t a DQ anymore. The Adonis Lock goes on again but Abyss makes another save and grabs the Black Hole Slam on Jesse. Abyss powerbombs Steve on top of him to retain at 9:15.
Rating: C+. This was a lot better than I was expecting and they did a good job of making the BroMans seem like more than just a couple of goofs. The lack of a DQ off both mists was annoying but that’s par for the course anymore. We’re just waiting for the Wolves at this point but it’s good to have a team get a nice little push like this.
Drew Galloway says he’s ready to fight for wrestling.
TNA World Title: Lashley vs. Drew Galloway
Submission or KO (last man standing variety) only to win and Galloway, in a kilt, is defending. Drew Claymores him two seconds into the match but Lashley pops up and grabs a legbar. That goes nowhere so Drew tries to throw him into the steps, only to have Lashley jump on top of them. Back in and the Iron Maiden is easily broken so Drew grabs a second version.
Lashley fights up and gets in a spear, followed by an overhead belly to belly. Since it’s not a KO though, there’s really nothing to do but wait for Drew to get up. A cross armbreaker doesn’t last long on Drew as he kicks Lashley in the face and cuts his eye open. Lashley suplexes him again and starts pounding away in the corner. Drew blocks a superplex and this a top rope clothesline, followed by another Claymore. It doesn’t even get a count though as Lashley gets up and scores with a quick spear to put both guys down.
Drew gets in a big boot to put Lashley on the floor before sending him into the steps. The Celtic Cross onto the steps makes things even worse for Lashley but he’s still not out. That leaves Drew with nothing else (because the show is running out of time) to do but put on a Sharpshooter on the steps. The referee breaks it up despite DQ’s not being a factor in this match. Yet another Claymore drops Lashley and now it’s time for a table.
Drew’s flip dive over the top only hits the table though and both guys are down again. Lashley won’t let the count go yet though and pounds Drew in the head a bit first. The champ gets up but dives into a Crossface, which is quickly reversed into a Tombstone. Lashley is up again and blasts Drew in the face, setting up a side choke to knock Drew out for the title at 17:58.
Rating: B. The match was good but LASHLEY??? The epitome of “monster for someone to destroy” gets the title again? They’re going up against Smackdown in a few weeks and they put the title on Brock Lesnar minus charisma? This was set up perfectly to have Galloway win and look like a star but instead it’s Lashley again because the first two reigns were so great.
Josh acts like this is Lashley’s first reign to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I’ll be sticking around but egads this company makes it hard to sit through. As usual the show is much better when they just focus on the wrestling instead of all their “creative” stuff but this felt like TNA in a nutshell: the stuff they do is good but it’s just enough to squeak by. Instead of hitting a home run, this was a weak single over the third baseman’s head. There’s enough good in it to keep me watching but Impact is going to go downhill all over again because they have nothing to build towards for four months.
The matches that needed to deliver did so, but the stuff between the opener and Bennett vs. Carter was the usual collection of weak to average at best. As usual TNA survives again on hard work from the wrestlers but I’m not looking forward to Galloway chasing Lashley while Lashley talks about how awesome he is in that weird voice of his. It’s a good enough show, though nothing I’ll ever want to see again.
Eddie Edwards b. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett and DJZ – Small package to Lee
Tribunal b. Grado/Mahabali Shera – Backbreaker/Middle rope elbow combination to Grado
Sienna b. Jade and Gail Kim – Pin after Marti Bell hit Jade in the back
James Storm b. Braxton Sutter – Last Call
Eli Drake b. Bram – Blunt Force Trauma
Ethan Carter III b. Mike Bennett – 1%er
Jeff Hardy b. Matt Hardy – Swanton Bomb through a table
Lashley b. Drew Galloway – Side choke
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