Pay-per-view has not been TNA’s strong suit this year. Most the shows have been poorly built and the in-ring action has left a lot to be desired. That changed Sunday as Slammiversary was the best TNA pay-per-view of the year, featuring three superb matches and one of the craziest spots of the year, as AJ Styles dove 20 feet from a steel truss onto Bully Ray.
In the main event, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle met for the final time with high stakes. Not only was Angle’s Olympic gold medal on the line, but the match would determine the new No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Jarrett landed the matches first big blow when he back dropped Angle over the top rope and Angle landed awkwardly on his shoulder on the floor. Jarrett followed that up by chucking Angle into the ring steps and then the guard rail. Back in the ring and Jarrett is in control, looking to gain possession of the gold medal. Both men go down when they both attempt cross-body blocks. They both get up and Jarrett locks in a sleeper. Angle down to a knee. He gets out and Jarrett sends him to the corner but Angle floats over the charging Jarrett and hits a belly-to-back suplex. They both get up and trade blows. Angle starting to get going. Belly-to-belly for two.
Angle to the second rope and hits Jarrett with a dropkick. Jarrett goes for a leap frog but Angle catches him in a power bomb and then puts on the ankle lock but Jarrett rolls through. Then he catches Angle coming in with a boot to the midsection and a DDT. Angle, though, catches Jarrett with the Angle Slam for two. With Jarrett laid out, Angle goes to the top for a moonsault but Jarrett moves and hits the Stroke but Angle kicks out.
Jarrett goes for a Tombstone but Angle reverses. Then Jarrett reverses again and then Angle reverses into the ankle lock in the centre of the ring. Jarrett rolls through but this time, Angle goes right into referee Brian Hebner. Jarrett hits a low blow. He goes under the ring and grabs his guitar and smashes it over Angle’s cranium. Earl Hebner comes running out to make the count but Angle gets the shoulder up.
Having survived, Angle gets going and hits the triple Germans but Jarrett kicks out at two. Angle puts Jarrett on the top turnbuckle. He goes up but Jarrett pushes him off. Jarrett looks to come off the top but Angle comes back and throws him off the top. The straps come down but Jarrett hits an armdrag. Jarrett backs into the corner and Angle charges, but Jarrett moves and Angle goes into the post.
Now Jarrett puts Angle on the top and he’s hits the Stroke from the top. Into the cover but Angle kicks out at the last moment. Now Jarrett locks in the ankle lock. Now Jarrett grapevines the leg and Angle is in serious trouble. Angle almost taps but finally kicks out of it. Jarrett just puts it on again but Angle comes under the reverses the tables. He locks it in and grapevines the leg and Jarrett has no choice but to tap out.
Winner via submission and NEW No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle
Match Rating: 8/10
The next TNA pay-per-view is Destination X on June 10, 2011.
Following a video package, Mike Tenay and Taz welcome us to tonight’s show, an eight-match affair from Orlando, Fla.
Match #1 – TNA World Tag Team Championship – (c) James Storm (Leiper’s Fork, Tenn.) & Alex Shelley (Detroit, Mich.) vs. Douglas Williams & Magnus (The United Kingdom)
Storm and Shelley working well together in the early going, but a British Invasion double team kick on Shelley lets them tag over the match. More double teams that lead to a great elbow from the second rope by Magnus. Big exploder suplex connects for Williams. He goes for the rolling Chaos Theory Suplex but Shelley holds out and drives Williams into the middle turnbuckle. He fights Williams off to make the tag to Storm.
Huge back drop on Williams. Storm running wild on both members of the Invasion. Storm sends both members of the Invasion onto each other on the outside and Shelley comes flying in with a suicide dive on Williams. Back in the ring, they suplex Magnus onto WIlliams. They start setting up for the DWI but Magnus breaks it up and sends Storm to the outside. Storm back in and he grabs Williams but can’t complete the Eye of the Storm but they double kick him in the corner.
Codebreaker for Magnus from Storm and then a backcracker for Williams and Shelley follows with a double stomp from the top but they kick out at the last possible moment. Storm goes for the beer spit but hits Shelley. Shelley can’t see and super kicks Storm. Invasion sets him up for the flying European uppercut but Storm kicks out at two.
Now it’s the Brits who kick each other. Last Call Superkick on Magnus followed by the Sliced Bread No. 2 from Shelley and that’s it.
Winners via pinfall and STILL TNA World Tag Team Champions: James Storm & Alex Shelley
Match Rating: 8/10
Great match. Going to be tough to top it the rest of the night.
Match #2 – Scott Steiner (Detroit, Mich.) vs. Matt Morgan (Fairfield, Conn.)
It’s all Morgan early until Steiner sneaks in a low blow behind the referee’s back and takes over. Elbow/push-up combo for Steiner. Then he cranks Morgan with a right hand in the corner. More chops now in the corner. Morgan, though flips it around. Side slam connects for the DNA of TNA. Sit-out slam for two for Morgan. Steiner, though, catches Morgan with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex for two, but Morgan catches him with a clothesline for two.
Steiner goes for the Steiner Recliner and he’s got it locked in. Morgan, though, fights it off and gets Steiner on his shoulders for an electric chair, but Steiner, of all things, turns it into a victory roll for two. Steiner gets caught coming off the second rope and after a series of reversals, Morgan smashes him with the Carbon Footprint and that’s it.
Winner via pinfall: Matt Morgan
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #3 – TNA X Division Championship – (c) Abyss (Parts Unknown) vs. Brian Kendrick (Venice, Calif.) vs. Kazarian (Anaheim, Calif.)
Kendrick and Kazarian look to double team Abyss early on but then Abyss grabs Kendrick and delivers a Black Hole Slam. Kazarian is right on him after it, though, so he can’t capitalize, but he does deliver a big boot to Kazarian. Now Abyss goes to work on Kazarian. Shock Treatment backbreaker for Kazarian. Abyss drags him to the corner and goes up looking for a Vader Bomb but misses.
Kendrick back in and he delivers three dropkicks and then goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick for two. Kendrick off the second rope with a tornado DDT for two. Kendrick goes for Sliced Bread but Abyss fights it off and hits a choke slam. Before he can go for the cover, Kazarian hits him and comes off the top with a rana from the top. Sprinboard back elbow for Kazarian and now Kaz and Kendrick both hit drop kicks. Springboard leg drop for Kazarian followed by a frog splash for Kendrick for two.
Abyss chucks Kazarian into Kendrick and now all three men are down. Now Kendrick and Kazarian start going at it with Abyss on the floor. Kazarian goes for the Fade to Black but Kendrick gets out and hits a kick. Before he can cover, Abyss pulls him out of the ring and covers Kazarian.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA X Division Champion: Abyss
Match Rating: 4/10
Match #4 – Samoa Joe (Isle of Samoa) vs. Crimson (Brooklyn, NY)
Crimson works his knees from the clinch and a neckbreaker to take advantage in the early going. Joe takes over and works some submissions. Now Crimson locks in an armbar of his own but Joe is right near the ropes. T-Bone suplex for Crimson connects and he follows with an impaler DDT for two.
Joe, though, rebounds by dropping Crimson on his head and then a real violent, clubbing clothesline. Joe is just all over Crimson and can’t believe he hasn’t pinned him yet. Power bomb for Joe for two and he transitions the kick out into a single-leg crab. Crimson escapes and they start slapping each other until Crimson spears Joe.
Both men down and getting counted. Both up at 8.5. They slug it out again. Crimson gets the better of it until Joe starts slapping the hell out of him. He slaps him into the corner and looks for the MuscleBuster but doesn’t get it. Joe goes for the choke but Crimson backs him into the corner and catches him with the Sky High coming back out. That’s it.
Winner via pinfall: Crimson
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #5 – TNA Knockouts Championship – (c) Mickie James (Richmond, Va.) vs. Angelina Love (Toronto, Ontario)
Winter gets involved early and pulls Mickie hair-first onto the floor. This puts Angelina in control until they end back up on the floor and Mickie reverses Angelina and sends her into the ring steps. In the ring, Mickie starts to get going with a series of clotheslines and a flapjack. Mickie goes to the top and hits the Thesz Press from the top rope. She goes for pins but Winter breaks them up.
As Mickie is jawing with Winter, Angelina hits her with the Botox Injection but Mickie gets her hand on the bottom rope. Angelina goes for her new finish but Mickie reverses and goes for the DDT when Winter hops on the apron. Mickie clubs her off and comes back and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two.
Angelina and Winter try to cheat again but Mickie counters it and hits what was supposed to be the jumping DDT and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Mickie James
Match Rating: 4/10
After the match, Winter and Angelina beat Mickie down.
Match #6 – Last Man Standing – Bully Ray (New York City) vs. AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.)
It’s all Styles in the early going until Ray takes over and the beat down begins. Ray uses the stairs to his advantage. Ray slaps Styles and then Styles gets up and yells at Ray to give him another one. There’s a hand print on Styles’ chest Ray hit him so hard. Styles wants another. Ray obliges and … wow. The crowd, rightly, chants “holy s—.” Now Styles asks Ray to punch him in the face. He does. Now Styles gets going with strikes and a kick puts Ray down.
Flying forearm for Styles and Ray is up at 7. Ray catches Styles with an elbow and goes to the top and Styles hits him with the Pele! Styles goes up and starts working Ray over but Ray grabs him and hits a sit-out power bomb from the top rope. They go to the outside and Styles avoids being hit with a pipe and hits Ray with a chain, busting him open.
Styles throws Ray into the ring and hits the springboard 450. Ray being counted. He’s up at 8. Now Styles grabs Ray and slams him over the top rope and slingshots himself to the outside right onto Ray. Styles wants the Styles Clash on the floor but Ray flapjacks him into the apron.
Now Ray throws Styles up the ramp to the stage. He goes for the same power bomb that put Styles in the hospital but Styles gets out, hits the Pele and a kick and punts Ray to the floor. Ray gets up and Styles comes flying in with a flying forearm-type thing. Wow.
Ray gets up at 8 as the crowd chants “this is awesome.” Styles grabs a table and a chair. He hits Ray across the back with the chair and puts him on the table. Now he heads back onto the stage. Ray is far away. Now Styles jumps to the steel structure and keeps climbing. And climbing. He comes down on Ray from probably 20 feet in the air with an elbow drop. Brian Hebner counting. At six, Ray kicks Styles in the rear and puts him right through the bottom of the stage. Ray uses the guard rail to pull himself up for two seconds as it hits 10. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner: Bully Ray
Match Rating: 9/10
Sick match. The ending was horrendously stupid, though.
Match #7 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – (c) Sting (Venice Beach, Calif.) vs. Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.)
Sting completes Anderson’s ring entrance and says the final “Anderson” and attacks him and goes to work on the ramp. They work into the ring and then back into the crowd where Sting is in total control. They work back to the ring but Anderson gains control and works Sting’s shoulder and arm.
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of TNA Slammiversary?
It was great – 15%
It was okay – 11%
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Anderson completely in control. He goes for a Stinger Splash but Sting moves. Sting can’t capitalize, though, and takes a slam. Anderson back to work on the arm. Sting works his way back to a vertical base and they start slugging it out in the middle of the ring. Sting finally lands a series of blows and drops Anderson. Back drop for Sting and he follows with the Stinger Splash. He goes for the Scorpion Death Lock but Eric Bischoff runs out and distracts him. Anderson works his way to the corner and Sting goes for another Splash but Anderson moves and hits the Plunge for two.
Sting hits a surprise DDT for two. Anderson goes for the Mic Check but Sting elbows his way out. Sting off the rope and right into the Mic Check. Anderson hits it but Sting kicks out at two. Anderson to the top but Sting cuts him off and crotches him. Now Sting puts Anderson in the corner and hits another Splash and then the Scorpion Death Drop. He goes for the cover and the referee does count three times, but it was interrupted by Bischoff so apparently it didn’t count. Sting is incensed. Sting picks Anderson up but Anderson low blows him right in front of the referee and hits the Mic Check and that’s it.
Winner via pinfall and NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Mr. Anderson
Match Rating: 6/10
Apparently Bischoff counted one of the three knocks on the mat. They explained this in replay, and Sting only heard it, not saw it.
Match #8 – The Final Battle – Jeff Jarrett (Hendersonville, Tenn.) vs. Kurt Angle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Winner via submission: Kurt Angle
b>Match Rating: 8/10
Event Rating: 7/10