Monday, June 13, 2011

WrestlingNerd Presents: TNA Slammiversary Review

What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Slammiversary. The card and buildup going into this showing was a bit iffy, so would TNA be able to deliver or would they recreate that poopy mountain from Conker's Bad Fur Day? Well, let's take a look and start the review.

Match #1: James Storm and Alex Shelley vs British Invasion for the Tag Team Championships
We open the show with a match. Robert Roode was on commentary for this match. I have been wondering lately if the Brits are heels or faces? I don't think it was ever established what they are, so it is almost up in the air. For the most part, this was a pretty decent match to open up the show. Just good old fashion tag team wrestling....if only there was a lot more of this during this current era of pro wrestling. A couple of near falls in this match. There was a spot where Storm hit a Backstabber on both Brits and Shelley hit the Warrior's Way, but only managed a two count. There was also Storm setting up for the beer spit, but accidently shots the beer at Shelley. Since Shelley couldn't see, he Super Kicks Storm and you would think the match is over, but Storm manages to kick out at two. Finally, Gun Money (Which sounds like an invention for Tony Montana) works together. Storm hits the Super Kick, and Shelley follows up with the Sliced Bread for the clean win. This was a decent way to open up the show, but the strange thing was the slight tease of the Brits winning the match during the beer spit. It seemed kinda odd and it seemed like it was mainly for dramatic effect, but outside of that, this was still a solid match. See, now THIS is a little more like Wrestling Matters.

Winner via pinfall and still tag team champs: Beer Money and Alex Gun figure it out....

Quick backstage interview with Scott Steiner. Good Lord, how many times do I have to hear Steiner butcher the english language? Apu from the Simpsons is easier to understand than Scott. Anyway, he says the typical stuff like beating Morgan's ass. Well, at least he is still following the formula for a Steiner promo. Blah, blah, blah, beat/kick/rape/ his ass......blah, blah, blah.....something about wife or girlfriend.....blah, blah. Seriously, can TNA management buy Steiner a Dictionary so he can expand his vocabulary?

Match #2: Scott Steiner vs Matt Morgan
Two minutes into this match, and there is already a ref bump. This allows for Steiner to sneak a low blow and gain the upper hand of the match, because it was all Morgan up to this point. This low blow served no purpose for the rest of the match, so why write a ref bump and low blow if it didn't add up to anything? The match was pretty boring and it dragged, but it was expected considering these are both big guys. There was a flashy move here and there like when Steiner pulled off a rollthrough, but overall, you weren't missing very much. Still, I gotta be fair and based on their size, this was a fair match.....even if it was loaded with punches, kicks, and chops. The finish comes when Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint and wins the match cleanly. This most likely ends this feud for the two, and hopefully Morgan can move on to bigger things since he has really taking a bunch of steps backward compared to when he was fighting for the world title earlier in the year.

Winner via pinfall: Matt Morgan

Match #3: Abyss vs Kaz vs Brian Kendrick for the X Division Championship
There was a Jeff Jarrett interview prior to this match, but it was the generic stuff towards Angle. I had an idea for this match. If Kaz and Kendrick are fighting for the X Division and don't want Abyss to win, why doesn't one of them just take a dive to pin the other one in order to steal the title? Of course, greed and pride (Fullmetal Alchemist?) would get in the way of that based on how this match went. Also, it would never work if you think about it, but something I thought of while I was watching this match. For the early going, Kaz and Kendrick were double teaming the monster....who is smart enough to read. The monster can read, but a steroid freak can't? Who would have known? Eventually, greed gets in the way for both faces and they eventually start fighting one another (Wario & Waluigi would have been proud to watch this match). As you would have thought, both Kaz and Kendrick care more about the actual title than trying to save the division. Then again, can you really blame them? The finish comes when Kendrick hits a Thrust Kick. Abyss is on the outside and tosses Kendrick out of the ring. Abyss runs over to pin Kaz and simply just picks up the bones to retain the title. I am fine with Abyss doing the heelish thing and stealing the victory from Kendrick since he was about to win. It also makes sense for Kaz to take the pinfall since they seem prime on pushing Kendrick instead of Kaz. I just wish Kendrick would have hit a better finisher because a thrust kick seems more like a set up move as opposed to a finishing move. This was a pretty decent match for what it was worth. I gotta be fair and say so far the PPV isn't too bad, but nothing is really standing out about the showing as well. Then again, maybe TNA should be shooting for average since that is at least a positive compared to how they normally do things.

Winner via pinfall and still X Division Champion: Abyss

Match #4: Crimson vs Samoa Joe
Thanks TNA for showing that awful cell phone filmed brawl between these two. I think the audience needs night vision goggles to know what the hell was going on during that brawl. Does anyone else wonder if Crimson is a fan of Edge? He uses the Spear and does the Edgucution during this match. Either that or it is a coinsidence. This was a pretty fair showing. There was a lot of submission style holds and ground based wrestling going around here. In fact, it was during this match were I noticed traces of the old Joe that we really haven't seen in a while. Seriously, it was like old school Joe resurrected himself for one night. Where has he been all this time? Even though this match was going well, the finish seemed like both guys were winded and tired. I guess they didn't take their 5 Hour Energy before the match? Crimson was kinda dragging a bit in this match. If Crimson wants to be a big time player in TNA, he is going to have to work lenghty matches. This was probably Crimson's longest match to date and it really showed that he needs more work in this department. He is still new and I still see a bright future for him if he can keep improving. Almost hard to belive he is around 25-26 years old. The finish comes when Crimson finally hits the Sky High Powerbomb for the clean win. Based on the performance here, I would like to see these two lock up again, because this was a pretty good match. After the match, Joe decides to lend his hand out for a handshake. They handshake, but Joe pulls him in and mouths to him that he wants another shot down the road. I hope based on this that we do get to see this again. If Joe can keep putting matches like this, maybe he can get himself out of midcard hell?

Winner via pinfall: Crimson

Backstage with....Winter and Love. More forced Lesbianism. Winter talks about how everything will come together when Love becomes the champ while Love is still Mrs. No Personality. The scene ends with Winter telling Love to "take her medicine", but Love refuses it and says she doesn't need that anymore because she fully understands what Winter is talking about. What? She understands what Winter is talking about? Damn, those must be some powerful drugs because NO ONE has ANY idea what the hell Winter is talking about. I wonder if those are the same drugs the TNA creative staff takes on a weekly basis? This whole storyline is just a mess.

Match #5: Mickie James vs Angelina Love for the KO Championship
Love is a lot more active than she has normally been since she is "no longer" on the influence of drugs based on the kayfabe going on here. Then again, I still wouldn't be shocked if Love is still on some illegal substance since she is still going for the Ronald McDonald look with all of that makeup. I also noticed that during the entrance walk for his match, that we are at the 1 hour and 15 minute mark. Which basically means the final three matches are going to end up being a half hour each. The idea of Sting trying to do a half hour match these days is enough to make me sick and depressed. Anyway, this was hands down the worst match of the night. It just wasn't very well done, and even the ending was horrible. Winter kept interfering during this match and it ended when Mickie hit the Delayed least that is what Tazz and Mike Tenay are trying to tell you. This DDT came off really bad on tv and I am not sure who's fault it was for turning out so bad. Clearly, there was some miscommunication between Love and Mickie. I guess that is what happens when you work a wrestling match with a zombie? After the match, Love and Winter attack Mickie and they leave the ring standing tall. This basically ensures there will be a rematch at somepoint. Hooray for the Winter/Love storyline continuing? Dammit.

Winner via sh**** finisher and still KO Champs: Mickie James

Match #6: Bully Ray vs AJ Styles in a Last Man Standing Match
Ok, line of the night as to go to Bully during his interview. He said that he is in the best shape in over 20 years. To be fair, he is looking a lot better compared to how he used to look but.....I am sure someone else was laughing when they heard this statement. Oh, I can be mean sometimes. The match stared off pretty slow, but it would definitely pick up. I was surprised in how well this matchup turned out. Styles was pulling a Tommy Dreamer by requesting Bully to land some free shots on him. Eventually, Bully got busted open. I thought they would have gone overboard with the weapons for this match, but they actually kept them to a minimum. It just proves that you can make a decent hardcore style match and not have an orgy of weapons and blood to make it good. They eventually fight all the way up the entrance ramp. The finish comes when Bully is on top of a table and Styles is debating how high he wants to do the high risk move. He starts to climb up one of the steel pillers on the entrance ramp and hits a flying elbow on Bully (possibly paying omage to the Macho Man right here) through the table. The ref has started his ten count and both guys are down. Styles is up on his feet midway during the count, but Bully kicks him with his free leg and Styles ends up going through the wooded stage ramp, where Styles isn't moving anymore. Oh no, not another murder on tv? Anyway, Bully stands up for a second and the ref has declared Bully the winner. After the match, the fans are chanting bulls*** while the medics are tending to both Bully and Styles. Well, at least Styles is moving here, so I guess there isn't a killing on two showings in a row.....yet. This was probably the best match of the night. It had a good mixture of the no rules stipluation, but also didn't go overboard with it since TNA tends to throw in a lot of blood and weapons with these things. The finish was a bit odd. So, your telling me that Bully can survive an elbow drop from 30-40 feet in the air, but Styles can't survive a kick through some thin wooding? Also, something about the ref counting during this sequence was off as well. The ref is counting both guys down, but when Styles gets back up, only for Bully to kick him back down, the ref is still counting as if Styles never stood up. Based on the rules to this match, the ref should have restared his count for Styles while the current count still applies to Bully since he is still down. Yeah, so now I understand why the audience was calling bs, because the referee fu**** up with the count. You can also argue that Bully really didn't stand on his feet long enough to be declared the winner. All I know is that if WWE was officiating this match, it would have been more conclusive as opposed to these minor screw ups. Despite the awkard ten count by the ref, this was still a pretty good match and my personal vote for match of the night. At the end of the day, this was the match that will make you remember Slam because there was some pretty neat stuff going around. There was even a Springboard 450 Splash by Styles. Yeah, he has done it before, but it still looks cool. This also opens the door for the feud to continue. The rivalry is still pretty fresh and I wouldn't mind seeing another match between these two. Just as long as we don't have another Angle/Jarrett fisaco on our hands. Bully Ray for match of the night? I don't think we have said that about Bully or Bubba since his WWE days in tag team wrestling. Bully for Most Improved of this year? Almost kinda scary to think about....

Winner: Bully Ray

Match #7: Sting vs Mr. Anderson for the World Title
Anderson had an interview backstage. My gosh....HE LIVES!!! Well....wasn't it written on the third day, he would rise again? Ok, I don't think I can add any more blasphemy if I tried. Anderson is on his mic at the entrance ramp until Sting attacks him from behind. Sting seems to be sporting the Heath Ledger Joker look tonight since he almost plastered the paint on his face and not actually detail it like he normally does. I guess this was his "war" paint face? They brawl for a while, get in the ring very quickly so the match can officially start. Immediatlely, they leave the ring and start brawling up in the audience. I always like those spots in pro wrestling when they climb up the stairs to brawl only to climb back down the stairs immediately. I guess they both just watched Rocky or something and just wanted to climb some stairs?  Anyway, they eventually head back into the ring. This match wasn't really done that well. I felt it dragged quite a bit and further proves that Sting should not be champion if he is putting these kind of matches on a weekly basis. During the match, Eric Bischoff came out and interfereced twice. I guess Hulk Hogan and Bischoff lied on last week's Impact since they claimed there would be no shenengians. Anway, after a couple of finishers and near falls, Sting finally hits SDD on Anderson. This was kinda strange and not sure if I can explain this one. Basically, the ref was making the three count. Just as he counted to one, Bischoff stuck his hand in there to make a sound on the mat, thus registering to Sting's ears that was the two count (Sting is looking the other way during this entire process). The ref waves off Bischoff and finally the ref registers the second count. Since Sting heard three slams on the mat, he assumes that was the three count and breaks the pinfall. He then gets back up, only for the ref to tell him he only made a two count. The strange thing in all of this is that it SOMEHOW makes sense since Sting was playing the pinfall by ear. TNA and somewhat making sense? Yikes!!! Still, seems a little stupid, but it is somewhat creative and sneaky so I got to give them credit for at least making this work on live tv since something liked this would have been botched in the past. Still, in a lot of ways, this may come off as a botch since the ref could clearly see the Anderson low blow, which would follow afterwords. If I was writing this scene, I would have had the ref make the count, Bischoff slam the mat, thus this starts an argument with the ref and Bischoff. While Sting gets involved in all of this, that is when Anderson sneaks the low blow since there is no way the ref could see it since he is discussing with both Sting and Bischoff. That might have come off a little better, but instead, we got something with more twist and turns. Anyway, while Sting is trying to figure out what happened, Anderson hits a low blow on Sting, hits MC, and we have a new world champion. Well, this does two things. This pretty much adds fuel to Hogan/Sting/Bischoff deal since Sting is claiming that Bischoff is the cancer. This also gets the belt off of Sting and puts it on the hands of someone who isn't an old man and is one of TNA's bigger stars in Anderson. In alot of ways, this match did more for Sting/Hogan than it did for Anderson. Heck, even the championship itself is almost an afterthought here. Still, Anderson was the better choice out of the two to be champion at this moment.

Winner via pinfall and NEW TNA World Champion: Mr. Anderson

Match #8: Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett winner is the #1 Contender for the World Title
Karen did a short interview via satellite. She blames Kurt for the injury and says Jeff will take everything from Angle tonight. If you watch this segment, do you really buy that Karen was at home? It looked like this was filmed backstage or something and comes off as bad. Oh, and in case your wondering, Karen did not show up during the match. The match did start off a bit slow, but they eventually picked up the pace. There was a lot of counters, locks, holds, and suplexs during this match. Most people would say this was the match of the night, but I would say it was the second best match of the night. Still, this was a pretty good wrestling match. There was a ref bump during this match. Damn, there was a lot of ref bumps going around tonight. Almost makes me want to bring back the Ref Bump Counter I was doing last year. He brings out the guitar and smashes Angle with it. Since the ref hasn't gotten back up, it is time for Earl Hebner to make his way to the ring to fill in as the ref for the rest of this match. Jarrett can only muster up a two count with the guitar shot. The finish comes when Jarrett has Angle in the Ankle Lock (Jarrett, you can't do that since that is Angle's move, blah, blah, blah....what was he thinking?). It seems like Kurt is in trouble, but with a glimer of hope, and the USA chant from the audience, it allows Kurt to summon enough power to counter the Ankle Lock, lock one of his own, and finally Jarrett is tapping out. Damn, who would have figured the USA chant is the ultimate ass kicking weapon? My God, imagine if John Cena finds out about this? Plus, isn't Jarrett American as well? Anyway, so it FINALLY appears this feud is over and Angle finally got his clean match and victory over Jarrett. I guess this sets up a new rivalry where it will be Angle vs Anderson.....which is what TNA did last year. Well, maybe it will be different this time around. The show ends with Angle celebrating.

Winner via submission and NEW #1 Contender: Kurt Angle

Overall Impression:
I gotta be honest. This was not a bad showing by TNA whatsoever. In fact, it was pretty decent. There was some decent matches out there tonight and two out of the last three matches really stick out and made the PPV shine. There is some things that could have made Slam better. For one, it should not have taken place in the Impact Zone. Slam is generally looked as their version of Survivor Series or Royal Rumble since like the WWE has their Big Four while TNA has its Big Three with Bound for Glory, LD, and Slam. I think this PPV would have shined a lot better if it was filmed somewhere else. And it was nice for TNA to actually hold true to their slogan of Wrestling Matters. They should change it to Wrestling Matters.....Only on PPV since they tend to have bad free tv matches, but PPV tends to fair out better in terms of quality matches. This was definitely better than Sacrifice and probably the best PPV I have seen out of TNA in a while. Really, only Genesis back in January stuck out as a good PPV for TNA, but Slam definitely joins the list and might even be better than Genesis. TNA can use some improvement, like with some of these finishes, but overall they had some good wrestling matches and actually entertained you for once. See, if TNA keeps doing things like they did tonight, then there is hope for this company. Then again, this company tends to take steps backwords after doing something good, but we will wait and see. On a scale of 1-10 and 5 being average on my show (Angry Joe rankings, and none of that decimal point garbage), I would have to give this PPV a 6 out of 10. This was a slightly above average showing. Even though this was one of TNA's better PPVs for this year, I have seen the WWE do slightly above average the majority the time (with the exceptions of Over the Limit since that was a bad showing and Extreme Rules since that was the best PPV I have seen all year). Then again, let's be fair since this is three PPVs in a row by TNA where they are showing improvements. Yeah, seems like even since the Jeff Hardy debacle back at Victory Road, TNA is improving on the quality of their PPVs slowly, so that is at least something. Still, what gets the turnout for a PPV is what they can produce on tv, and this is something TNA needs to improve on. As I have been saying for the last month, the buildup to this PPV wasn't done very well and what registers PPV buys is how well you can get the audience into certain rivalries and storylines. This is something TNA definitely needs to improve on since I would venture a guess that most people passed up on this PPV because of the buildup. Well, that is going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review and tonight's showing. Three Hour Raw for Monday, so six hours of wrestling I need to cover in two days, damn. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.

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