TNA Slammiversary XII (6/15/2014)- Dallas, TX
MVP & PALS BACKSTAGE- MVP decides to sew some dissension between his own guys because… um…
(to make things even more baffling, this segment led to absolutely nothing, so why even do it?)
LADDER MATCH FOR THE TNA X-DIVISION TITLE: Sanada(c) vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Tigre Uno vs. Manik vs. Crazzy Steve (the Menagerie)- 5.75/10
I guess TNA didn’t want to pay to fly the Menagerie’s stilt guys in to the PPV, so they decided to pay money to get a midget instead. Tenay points out that Crazzy Steve has only had one match, which he didn’t even win (Tenay claims it was a no-contest, but those of us who pay attention to things know that Steve actually lost by DQ).. so why the hell is he getting a title shot?
The guy who was the most over with the crowd was Crazzy Steve. Yeah. I almost never criticize on the crowd for being hot and expressing their opinion but… WHAT THE F*CK?! (They were great throughout the night, but this drove me nuts)
There were a few times where it felt like they were just trying to do spots rather than get the title, and it really bothered me. I loved the spot with the Wolves fighting each other. I think it did a better job of fleshing out their characters (specifically the idea that they are ass-kickers in search of competition, and if they have to fight each other, they will gladly do so with no hard feelings) than TNA has done before. That sunset flip powerbomb onto the bridged ladder looked like it KILLED both guys. Davey must be INSANE to have agreed to take that, though he seemed to come out of it better off because it looked like Manik DESTROYED his own tailbone.
Aside from that, it was just a bunch of spots you’ve seen before in every other ladder match, and they didn’t even take advantage of having so many guys in the match to do any big four or five or six person spots. The finish felt very anti-climactic. There just didn’t seem to be a sense of desperation about it. It would have been better if they had done a spot where Eddie and Manik tried to pull Sanada down but he fought them both off first.
MVP PROMO- Bad and pointless
He says that Dixie convinced the TNA Board of Directors to order him to make sure that all of tonight’s matches are fair. Shouldn’t that be the standing orders from the Board of Directors on EVERY show?
He then explained everything that they explained on Twitter about the changes to the main event and the world title match qualifiers. I can’t imagine that there is anyone who bought tickets to Slammiversary that didn’t already know this, and the moment the change to the main event was announced, TNA should have changed all of their advertising so that everyone who wanted to buy the PPV would know about the changes as well.
Kenny King then cut a decent promo on Aries and got some cheat heat by dissing the Dallas Cowboys. Then MVP cut a promo on Lashley’s behalf.
WINNER ADVANCES TO THE TNA WORLD TITLE MATCH LATER TONIGHT: Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe- 6.5/10
They had a good, hard-hitting match. It’s always fun to see two big men slug it out.
Taz has been calling Samoa Joe’s matches for almost five years now, and he still has to refer to the STJoe as “that patented uranage-type of slam that he does out of that corner.” Why does TNA continue to employ this man?
JB IN THE CARTER FAMILY SUITE- boring.
Apparently Bob and Janice Carter are here. I’d love to hear their thoughts on how their daughter’s company is doing. Dixie says she will reveal the results of her meetings with the TNA Board of Directors in the ring tonight. She also cut a dull promo on MVP and Bully Ray.
MAGNUS (w/Bram) vs. WILLOW (w/Abyss)- 6.25/10
They did a good job of finding something for Bram and Abyss to do, and they were very careful to never have a cornerman hit a wrestler. I also really liked that Magnus got the clean win instead of using a weapon, which I was almost certain they were going to do.
Tenay throws it over to the French announce team to let them get some time on TV. Taz then “translates” what they were saying by saying stereotypical French things. No one found this funny, and I’m sure there are some French people who found it offensive, which is what always happens when you make a joke like this, and yet Taz made it anyway. Again… why is this man employed?
WHO WILL BE INDUCTED INTO THE TNA HALL OF FAME?- Team 3D
Not to crap on the Dudleys’ contributions to TNA, but IMO it looks pretty sad when everyone in your Hall of Fame made their name in other companies. We also get, for the third time, a guy who is still active (and even wrestling on tonight’s card) being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I know they didn’t realistically have too many choices, but that should have been a sign that maybe this Hall of Fame was a bad idea in the first place. They did it, though, but I think there were some deserving people who could have been this year’s inductee so that TNA could buy some time and induct Team 3-D when they are actually retired:
1. Jeff Jarrett- I know he’s no longer with the company, but I don’t think Jeff would have turned this honor down.
2. Jerry Lynn- He made lots of big contributions to TNA during its early years and consistently put on great matches for them for years. It also kind of sucks that a lot of indy companies where Jerry didn’t have quite as much of an impact all made the effort to honor him during his retirement tour, but TNA did not. The closest they came was RVD putting Jerry over to the camera during the first One Night Only: X-Travaganza show, and this happened while Taz, idiot that he is, was talking over the whole thing making stupid jokes.
3. Mike Tenay- I often criticize Tenay’s commentary (though, in fairness, I do so because he sucks), but there is no denying that Mike Tenay has been a HUGE part of TNA from day one, and definitely deserves a place in its hall of fame.
4. Jeremy Borash- Same as Tenay
It’s nice that they put this thing on PPV, but they really need this time for matches, and having a segment like this that can easily run long probably plays havoc with their card.
EC III PROMO- good
WINNER ADVANCES TO THE TNA WORLD TITLE MATCH LATER TONIGHT: Kenny King vs. Austin Aries- 6.75/10
VON ERICHS SEGMENT- good for what it was
HUGE pop for the Von Erichs. JB said that they were going to “introduce” Ross and Marshall “into the wrestling world,” as if they haven’t been working for a major company in Japan for a few years already. Then Bro-Mans came out, cut a promo getting cheap heat, and challenged them to a match, so we got…
JESSE GODDERZ & ZEMA ION vs. ROSS & MARSHALL VON ERICH (w/Kevin Von Erich)- 4/10
WE get your standard formulaic tag team match until the Von Erichs were about to win, so Jesse Godderz used a chair for the DQ. They couldn’t let the Von Erichs get the clean win over the two comedy jobbers? Really? The chairshot was used to set up Kevin jumping in the ring and putting Jesse in the Iron Claw, but they could have done that by having Jesse try to attack the Von Erichs after they won clean (and to those who say that this was TNA protecting their contracted talent, led me remind you the Bro-Mans are COMEDY JOBBERS and thus do not need to be protected).
JB INTERVIEWS THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE- Good. I enjoyed Velvet’s defense of her constant interference in matches.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Angelina Love(c) (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Gail Kim-3/10
Taz felt the need to inform us that the French announce team was LAUGHING at this match, totally burying the match. Once again… why is this man employed?
And speaking of people who shouldn’t be employed, Velvet sprayed Gail in the eyes with hairspray RIGHT IN FRONT OF BRIAN STIFFLER, and there was no DQ. Does no one in TNA management watch Impact? There is no other reason that Stiffler could have been allowed to referee this match (well… either that or TNA management doesn’t care about things being fair, though MVP’s promo in the beginning seems to tell us that they do).
HOORAY FOR EARL HEBNER!
Earl comes down to ringside, orders Velvet to go to the back, then tells Stiffler to go to the back as well and makes himself the referee for this match. That lasted about a minute before they did a ref bump, which led to Gail getting two visual pins on Angelina until Stiffler came in and screwed her anyway. So the best case scenario coming out of this is that TNA threw away the Knockouts Title match on one of their only four PPVs a year in order to set up a match between two referees. That is the BEST case scenario. This company sucks.
BULLY & DEVON BACKSTAGE- Bully asks Devon if he will be in his corner tonight for his match against EC III. Devon says he can’t because his kids are waiting for him at the hotel. So he flew his kids out to Dallas with him, but he didn’t have his family on hand to see him get inducted into the Hall of Fame?
BULLY RAY PROMO- he basically says that he is going to murder EC III. Then he lists a bunch of famous wrestlers from Texas. Then spouted off some lame lines about “baptizing [EC III] in blood” and “crucifying” him for Dixie’s “sins.”
TEXAS DEATHMATCH: Bully Ray vs. Ethan Carter III- 7.5/10
Because this is a Texas Deathmatch, Bully comes out to the ring with a bull-rope. In TNA, a “Texas Deathmatch” apparently means a Last Man Standing match. They did a bunch of hardcore stuff, and also did some more ultraviolent stuff (cheese grater to the chest, use of broken glass) which I wasn’t very fond of. Spud and Dixie came out, Dixie and EC III bumped heads, leading to a tease of Dixie getting put through a table, but EC III and Spud made the save. The match ended when Bully was shoved off the top rope through a table. As you might remember, this was EXACTLY how Bully’s last PPV match ended, meaning that this feud really hasn’t gone anywhere at all.
JAMES STORM vs. MR. ANDERSON- 4/10
Storm also cut a promo to get cheap heat before the match, but he focused his promo on the Dallas Cowboys in the front row. This later led to an incident where Storm flipped them off so one of the Cowboys threw beer at him. To TNA’s credit, they actually did it right this time by having security rush in IMMEDIATELY and break things up before they escalated any more. Unfortunately, this led to the Cowboy in question distracting Storm to allow Anderson to win, because Anderson, the babyface, isn’t good enough to win on his own. Then they undid all of the good from before by allowing the Cowboys to rush into the ring to celebrate with Anderson.
JB INTERVIEWS EY- Eh.
First Austin Aries showed up and they did babyface “may the best man win” stuff. Then EY says he is crazy, and therefore will retain the world title. I’m not quite sure how that follows.
STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Eric Young(c) vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Lashley- 7.5/10
They really didn’t give these guys enough time for a world title steel cage match PPV main event, but these guys did an awesome job with the time they had. I liked the way they shoved off Lashley’s power throughout the match, and I thought it made EY’s double Death Valley Driver look even cooler. They did a lot of creative stuff in here and everyone looked good. Great match.
A very good PPV from TNA. Their best in a while; maybe since Bound For Glory 2012. That being said, it still wasn’t good enough. When you are only putting on four PPVs a year, they all need to deliver big time. I certainly enjoyed watching this show, but it just wasn’t worth the price they charged for it. They really need to step up the angles going into BFG if they want people to give them another chance. On that note, I will say the following:
Going into this show, there was a lot of negativity, and based on the atrocious job TNA did building this show up, I think it was well deserved. Coming out of it, I think there is a general sense of optimism surrounding TNA. The attendance was reportedly very good (between 3,000- 4,000) with some sources even going as high as 4,300, which would make it one of the biggest crowds in TNA history, unless I’m mistaken. The card certainly had its problems (Bully vs. Carters feels like it is spinning its wheels, the X-Division Title and Word Tag Team Titles both got buried via the booking of their matches), but most of the show was good solid wrestling. If TNA turns themselves around (I doubt that they will, but I hope that they do), I think this show will be seen as the beginning of that.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Tenay says that Tigre Uno’s series of matches with Sanada might give him an advantage in this match. HOW?! Those were singles matches, and this is a SIX WAY LADDER MATCH?! Those things are not even close to similar.
2. During Crazzy Steve’s entrance for the opener, Taz described Knux as “the man of the hour.”
How could Knux POSSIBLY be the man of the hour when we are about to start one of TNA’s biggest shows of the year, and he doesn’t even have a match?!
3. Tenay (about Stiffler’s crooked refereeing)- “I don’t know if I would call it ‘dirty.’”
ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME, MIKE? You’re supposed to be the f*cking babyface announcer!