TNA Slammiversary 2016
Watch: Fite.TV, traditional pay-per-view
June 12, 2016
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida
Slammiversary is upon us, the big dawgs are barking, the lunatics are running the asylum, Good Brother Garrett is writing the next chapter in his TNA Encyclopedia and I’m wondering why I volunteered to be the TNA guy for Wrestling With Words. If you asked me 13 years ago if TNA would make it 13 years I’d laugh and tell you that MLW is going to be the one promotion that makes it. TNA for all its laughs, goofs and follies, always finds a way to survive and tonight we celebrate. Let’s see what 50 dollars of my hard-earned money gets me.
X Division Championship: Trevor Lee (c) vs. DJ Z vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Andrew Everett***3/4
We kick off the show with dark horse wrestler of the year Trevor Lee and three tremendously underrated and underused talents in Eddie Edwards, Andrew Everett and DJZ. If you watch any indie show, all four of these guys are having great matches but in TNA its random five-minute matches that are meaningless. That’s really the X Division as a whole and has been the case for ages now. Tonight we get a nice 12 minute match where all four guys got to shine and work their asses off. Andrew Everett did all kinds of beautiful moves that would piss Vader off, including a sick twisting corkscrew plancha and super rana. His double team work with Trevor Lee was also fun. He’s starting to come in to his own as a talent and I look forward to following him. Trevor Lee put on his best TNA performance to date and was the real star of the match, he continued to impress me and TNA should be building around him. The highlight of the match came from his awesome double foot stomp spot. Eddie Edwards winning was a nice surprise as well, he’s always been a great talent and deserves a singles belt, I would be okay with TNA doing Davey vs. Eddie, even if that thins out the tag scene. This was a great first step in making the X Division great again.
The Tribunal (w/Al Snow) vs. Grado & Mahabali Shera*3/4
Al Snow comes out looking like yer da the PE coach, including an annoying whistle gimmick. He hates comedy wrestling and so do the French apparently. He also tried to use Donald Trump as heel heat in Florida, which more or less made him a mega babyface to the citizens of Florida. Shera is coming off his 3 month lucha training and I was eagerly watching, and hoping he performs a La Casita and a Springboard Quebrada. Did I get my wish? No. He did try to make the Shera Shuffle happen much to the same success Gretchen had trying to make fetch happen. The Tribunal are pretty lousy and Josh Matthew explains in his going through puberty voice that they’ve won tag titles all over the world. Okay. Grado is the best worker in this match, I get he’s not popular with the TNA super fans but he’s not only a bigger draw that most in TNA he does a very good job at getting the crowd into his matches and building sympathy, that’s a bit of rare trait these days. Overall the match is what you’d expect. Pretty bad.
TNA Knockouts Championship: Jade (c) vs. Gail Kim vs. Sienna **3/4
Maria Kanellis comes out and says she can’t wrestle, and right when I pick up my cell phone to call Comcast and ask for a refund she surprises me adds Gail to the knockouts title match which is happening now! This match had a lot of good ideas but failed in execution and at times was sloppy. I’m pretty disappointed because Jade and my the girl of my dreams err Sienna both needed to come out of this match with some juice. They are part of the club of talents that have good indie matches but mean nothing in TNA. Gail is Gail, she’s always good in the ring but is kind of Randy Orton level of played out in TNA. It was nice to see Sienna get the win and I’m willing to take her out to a nice steak dinner to celebrate but she really did nothing to stand out, which is part of the problem. Overall it was decent just disappointing.
James Storm vs. Braxton Sutter**
This is a nice little thrown together at the last-minute surprise. Storm cuts a promo talking about being with TNA from day one, he failed to mention his NXT stint in there but I could see how that would ruin his point. TNA has treated him well, I mean he’s one of their best wrestlers and he didn’t have a match for tonight and gets thrown into one with Pepper Parks. Overall the match was pretty solid, just a basic filler match, that could have been a TV match or ONO match.
King of the Mountain Championship: Eli Drake (c) vs. Bram*
Fresh off inking a new deal with TNA Bram comes out ready for a fight with Eli Drake and this is the point of the show where I question what I’m doing with my life. The only thing worth discussing in this match is Eli Drake losing his balance while sitting on the ropes. Neither one of these guys are very good. It was * for making me laugh.
Ethan Carter III vs. Michael Bennett***1/4
Mike comes out in his Colonel Mustard colored tights. He’s going to have a tough night on Twitter vanity searching. ECIII is a true diamond in the rough. He was able to get a good match out of Mike Bennett and continues to cut fantastic babyface promos. The problem with this match is that it lacked any true heat or emotion. It was very go through the motions and part of that had to do with an apathetic crowd and the other part had to do with Mike Bennett. While it was a little bland it was a technically fine match.
Full Metal Mayhem: Broken Matt Hardy vs. Brother Nero aka Jeff Hardy*************
Normally I would scald wrestlers going into business for themselves but Matt and Jeff have turned their weird Omega fan fiction into something beautiful for TNA. While it does no favors for people taking TNA seriously, it’s been one of the most hilarious and enjoyable parts of IMPACT. This match continued the tradition with some off the wall spots, including the extending ladder, keyboard powerbomb, and ref counting on the table. Josh also took the time to inform us they are brothers. Thanks Josh. There are two parts of making this match fantastic: A) the match was genuinely good and B) The irony of Matt and Jeff’s fan fiction being incredibly funny, a little pee came out I laughed so hard, watching this. This is going straight on the shortlist of match of the decade contenders.
TNA World Tag Team Championship: The Decay (c) vs. BroMans***1/4
The BroMans have shown remarkable improvement since getting back together, there really isn’t a more underrated tag team in wrestling. Abyss is also a great talent and arguably one of the best brawlers of the 2000s, I would even go as far to say peak Abyss is much more enjoyable than peak Necro Butcher. Please do not block this site. This is my opinion alone. The match itself far exceed what I thought it would be, TNA actually gave these guys time and they had a nice action packed brawl. It was a really fun match. The Decay retained as expected.
Drew cuts a heated promo that makes me think he’s Braveheart and I’m ready to liberate Scotland.
TNA World Championship KO or Tapout Match: Drew Galloway (c) vs. Bobby Lashley ****1/4
This was easily the best match of the night and has in general been a very good feud for TNA. For once TNA did something that felt like it had a big fight feel and dug the aspect of they only way to win was through submission or knockout. Both guys are able to brawl very well and Drew’s technical side paired with Lashley’s MMA side made for great chemistry between these two. I appreciated both looked like they got busted up the hard way in this match, that might sound kind of odd but it gave it that hard-fought feel. I really really loved this match, even though I felt the ending and Lashley winning was a little random.
TNA put on a hell of a show tonight. This far exceeded anything I thought TNA would do and most importantly all the big matches had clean finishes with ZERO goofy stuff. Which is a first for TNA. The only faults in this show were the random filler matches that bogged down the early part of the show and TNA’s continued obsession with floor brawls, I believe every match had one. Definitely go out of your watch to watch the Main Event, the X Division match and Hardy Match. High recommendation for this show. Keep tabs for my first ever IMPACT on Pop review for WWW this coming week.