Monday, June 11, 2012

6/10/12 Slammiversary

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe (X-Division Title): ***3/4

Hernandez vs. Kid Kash: **1/4

Robbie E and Robbie T vs. Devon & Garett Bischoff: *1/2

Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy: ***1/2

James Storm vs. Crimson: *

Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim (Knockouts Title): *3/4

Joseph Park vs. Bully Ray (Anything Goes): **

AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (Tag Team Titles): ****

Bobby Roode vs. Sting (World Title): ***1/4

We're in Dallas for Slammiversary! Celebrating 10 years. Who woulda thunk TNA would have lasted this long? A bunch of people in the stands. How many free tickets did they have to give out? Heard the Meet & Greet was a flop.

Hogan starts the show. He's going old school tonight from the first match. Joe vs. Aries for X-Division Title. I like that. Joe ruled in the X-Division before. I'm glad he's back where he should be. X-Division Title is what separates TNA from WWE. Hype that stuff. Don't try to just be a WWE carbon copy, because you'd get screwed that way.

Aries and Joe was fantastic from the start. Crowd super hot throughout the match. Incredibly hard-hitting throughout. Tons of chemistry between the two. Numerous counters. Great flow. Basically, this is how you start a PPV. Aries pulled off a 450, sweet! Last sequence was awesome. Joe took a dropkick in the corner right to the face, then got dropped on his head via Aries brainbuster. Awesome opener. Joe coulda had a broken nose there. Mutual respect shown after the match. THIS is how you start a PPV. I can just imagine the rating if they had even five more minutes. Both names trended on Twitter.

Kid Kash returns for this one; hadn't been seen in many weeks. He faces Hernandez, who's also back after a hiatus. Another great bout here. Best spot for me was easily the Hernandez dive to the outside. For a guy his size, just amazing athleticism. Top-rope splash gets three for Hernandez. Kid Kash trended on Twitter as well. Win.

Countdown for the first 10 years. #3 is AJ Styles becoming the first X-Division champ, pinning Jerry Lynn on June 19, 2002 (part of a four-way match). WHY did they have to deviate from all those quality PPV matches? They didn't have to follow WWE's mold and do a bunch of free TV. I'm confident they would have been fine -- perhaps better off -- to keep mostly PPVs, if not 100% PPVs. That is, assuming they played to their strengths and just kept dishing out incredible matches all the time.

The two Robbies face Devon and Garett, stemming from the last couple weeks. Devon gets the hot tag, and the crowd responded accordingly. Devon spinebuster wins it. Random dancing post-match.

I'm unsure right now what this does for Garett, other than to give him screen time. I'm hoping he turns on Devon at some point, once GB gets more comfortable in the ring. Note Madison Rayne all dolled up on the stage. I hope she's eyeing Garett Bischoff. It would give the young man a (possibly good) storyline to work from to establish himself. Garett doesn't even have to turn heel if that happens. Riding Devon's reputation and veteran leadership is fine for now. I just hope, with all this slow buildup (which I really love), it actually turns into something worth watching. Madison left the stage by the time the match was over, so the slow build continues.

Borash with a short interview for Daniels and Kaz. All three are basically TNA lifers. Celebrate!

Three-way match to determine World Title #1 contender is next. Hardy flips a coin, attacks RVD anyway, and we're off. Anderson trends on Twitter during the match. Again, a very good pace throughout. Awesome balance of aerial offense and ground moves. "This is wrestling!" and "This is awesome!" chants from the fans. Credit all three guys in this one, but I continue to marvel at RVD's cardio and flexibility. Mic check from Anderson gets the win. Ending surprised me, a bit abrupt there. Wish the match went longer.

Crimson interviewed, confident as usual. Heel promo before his open challenge. OOPS, James Storm! Crimson is livid. Usual offense from both guys. Storm Last Call superkick ends the streak at over 470 days. One star for the crowd reaction. After, Storm celebrates with showering the front row with beer.

I'm on the fence as to whether this was the best way to end Crimson's run. This basically turned into a squash for Storm overall. Is that really how you want a streak to end, one that you had hyped the last few months? It wouldn't have been so bad had Crimson gotten more offense in, but it was short and mostly all Storm in this one. At least for me, it would have been better to end it via a fluke. Then it can at least generate more smoothly into a storyline.

Countdown for the first 10 years. #2 is signing Hulk Hogan to the TNA family. It was a blockbuster move, that's for sure. Arguably the biggest name in pro wrestling generates a big buzz. Questionable moves during Hulk's tenure, but also some good ones (i.e. signing Aries). Hoping more good comes out of this over time.

Dixie Carter comes out. This PPV is the largest U.S. live crowd in TNA's history. Not a huge surprise. She calls out the entire roster for a standing ovation. Well deserved. Note AJ Styles was the first guy out there, not just for being one of the original talents, but perhaps for storyline purposes.

Goes right into the first TNA Hall of Fame inductee. STING! I love that HOF logo. Wonderful tribute video. Sting first debuted in the company in 2003, and it's been nine years. I'm sure TNA wanted to pull the trigger first on inducting Sting before WWE had a chance to. ROFL, THEY GOT A "YES!" CHANT GOING! That was golden. Formal induction ceremony will be at Bound For Glory. Sting with a short speech, seemingly impromptu.

Knockouts Title match followed. Tessmacher is no longer called "Brooke" anymore because Brooke Hogan is officially on the roster. Tessmacher's home state, so she's clearly the crowd favorite. Gail shows some deceiving power in this match. Several submissions and rest holds from Gail. A couple of shaky spots (perhaps botches) from Tessmacher. Tess into the guardrail. Gail wants to pin Tess in the ring. Gail teases Eat Defeat, then tries Tess' finisher. Tessmacher counters into a pin for three. New champ! Thank God. I really wanted this to happen, given the push she's gotten over the last few months.

Well, I hope this whole Joseph Park character gets axed after this one. Park faces Bully Ray. Park basically comes out in workout sweats. "Yankees Suck!" chants from the crowd. Match basically starts with Bully taunting and Park whiffing on haymakers. Each time Park has an opening, he turns his back and Bully attacks. How freakin' stupid are you, lawyer boy?! Chair shots to Park's back. Big "New York sucks!" chants, which I'm glad Taz acknowledged. Table is in play. Nut shot to Bully, then a kendo stick to the head for two. Park knocked to the outside, then goes under the ring. Yup, Abyss comes out. Who didn't see that one coming? Abyss chokeslams Bully through the table, then goes back under the ring. Duh, Joseph Park then reappears a few seconds later to get the three. Not the most technically sound match, that's for sure. But the crowd was great.

For the record, there was a separate guy playing Abyss for the PPV. Fittingly, it was a student from the Team 3D wrestling school.

Hulk comes out to reveal the #1 TNA moment in the first 10 years. WTF, CHRISTIAN IS THERE?! Wow. How much did TNA pay Vince for that one? Huge "YES" chants again. Christian pokes fun at TNA going from the six-sided ring to four corners. He presents the #1 TNA moment: Sting returning in 2006 as Christian's tag partner to face Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown at Final Resolution. Really?! That's #1?!

Glad Christian got to appear. It was in TNA that he got a main event push. When he returned to WWE, Vince practically had to pull the main event trigger himself. Edge's retirement merely sped things up.

Tag title match is next. Great video package to hype this. One of the best storylines going right now. Styles with new music and entrance video. "P1" for "Phenomenal One." Fast start here because Styles wants to kick some ass. It quickly went back to a traditional tag match, but that's not bad when you have four of the top wrestlers in the company. Great double-team moves from Daniels and Kaz. Angle hot tag. Sweet double German by Angle. Crowd appreciated that one. Hot tag to Styles now. Reverse DDT-traditional DDT combo for Styles. Another awesome spot. Some new stuff from everyone, which is already amazing considering the vast moveset of all four guys. Outstanding spotfest ensues. AJ WITH THE SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR! Haven't seen that in years. Fade to Black countered into Ankle Lock! Kaz taps and we have new champs. Best match of the night right there.

Sting video package. With Sting being the first TNA HOF inductee, you think he HAS to win the title now.

Sting out first to an enormous pop. Roode comes out with a new entrance video and a new robe. Borash with the main event intros. Bunch of stalling from Roode. Some offense from the champ but Sting keeps frustrating him. Roode tries to walk away, but that doesn't work. Sting has complete focus. Roode gets the upper hand eventually. Sting with the comeback. Scorpion Death Lock applied! Great stuff from Roode by teasing the tapout multiple times. Roode tries to run and Sting just attacks him anyway. No countout tonight. Stinger Splash to Roode on the guardrail! Now on the broadcast table. Scorpion applied again. Roode taps on the announce table, but duh, ref doesn't count it. Sting plays dumb and is like "how does that not count?" Roode grabs the six pack of beer from Storm's celebration. Sting blocks one, then gets nuked with another. Yeah those were real bottles, not some breakaway crap. Roode gets three and the crowd boos.

Sting then gets up all busted open. Takes out Roode and the ref. Suplex on the entrance ramp to Roode. Scorpion Death Drop off the stage onto probably a padded table. Roode escaped, but the feud looks like it will continue. While I liked Roode retaining, Sting just may win the rematch, if there is one. That I continue to not be a fan of. It would be a feel-good story for the new Hall of Famer to win the gold, but what else does that do? Sting's career is winding down. It's the young faces who need to be lining up to topple Bobby. This is why I wanted Storm to come back against Roode, instead of ending Crimson's streak.

The PPV was overall a great one. Several prime matches here. Solid opener, strong finish. Crowd explosive throughout. Christian's appearance was a nice surprise, and for all those reasons, it merits a nice rating. ***3/4

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