TNA’s biggest pay-per-view of the year returns with swansongs and returns. Tonight on TNA Slammiversary, Jeff Jarrett looks to return to his throne as King of the Mountain in the main event. Plus, the TNA X Division Championship is on the line and a few wrestlers possibly say their goodbyes! All that and more in this year’s edition of TNA Slammiversary!
We are on LIVE from Orlando, Fla. Josh Mathews, “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, and Mike Tenay have the call for tonight.
Three-Way Elimination Match for the TNA X Division Championship: Tigre Uno (c) vs. DJ Z vs. Manik
Manik goes after both competitors and works them into corners. DJ Z and Tigre Uno with dropkicks on Manik. DJ Z sends Manik out with a headscissors and Tigre sends DJ Z out. Manik trips up Tigre and clubs him down. Manik sent out with a baseball slide and he pulls DJ Z down on the apron as he tries a slingshot. Corkscrew slingshot over the top from Tigre takes out everyone. DJ Z sent out and Manik clubs Tigre down. Backbreaker nearfall from Manik and he works Tigre down while keeping DJ Z out. Manik works Tigre in the corner and DJ Z gets back in with a DDT attempt. Manik with a gutbuster to send him out and Tigre dropped for a nearfall. DJ Z with a springboard arm drag on Tigre and a dropkick on Manik. All three men knock each other to the mat. Tigre sent out and Manik sent out on top of him. Flip dive from DJ Z on top of the two. Tigre up top and he gets crotched by DJ Z. Reverse superplex from DJ Z on Tigre and Manik under the two for a powerbomb. Manik with a nearfall on DJ Z. DJ Z now up top and he hurricanranas Manik onto Tigre for a nearfall. Manik sent out and Tigre with a running dropkick. Springboard splash on DJ Z from Tigre. DJ Z has been eliminated.
Tigre with a nearfall on Manik and a thrust kick on the kneeling Manik gets another. Leg drop misses off the top and a splash off from Manik lands on the knees. Cradle nearfall from Tigre. Manik with a double underhook gutbuster. Frog Splash from the top nearly finishes Tigre. Tigre comes back with a German Suplex into the corner and another split-legged springboard splash out of the corner lands.
Winner by pinfall and STILL TNA X Division Champion: Tigre Uno
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Comments: Good opening match with a fast pace and everyone had a good showing. Standard fare X Division matchup and that isn’t a bad thing when things click.
Jeremy Borash gives a “thank you” message and brings in Robbie E. Robbie E says the Robbie E of old is gone because Jessie Godderz tried to take pro wrestling from him. Robbie E says Godderz isn’t a man, but his “b***h.” Video package recaps the breakup of The BroMans.
Jessie Godderz with the microphone before the match and says people should look at him after Robbie E called him a b***h. Godderz says he was stuck with a “bro” and a “boy” and says Robbie and all the people in the audience have no idea what it takes to be a man.
Jessie “The Man” Godderz vs. Robbie E
The two meet at the bottom of the ramp and Robbie E punches Jessie Godderz around ringside. Robbie tosses Godderz around the ring and works him in the corner back inside. Thesz Press and a leg drop get Robbie a nearfall. Godderz sent over the top and Robbie with a slingshot crossbody. Godderz comes back by throwing Robbie on the apron and slamming him on the floor. Robbie beats the count and gets stomped down back inside. Godderz working Robbie down and a powerbomb countered by Robbie. Robbie fights back until he is whipped into the corner for a Godderz nearfall. Dropkick and a bear hug from Godderz. Backbreaker nearfall for Godderz. Bear hug reapplied and Robbie fights out. Clothesline off the top from Robbie puts both men down. Punches exchanged and Robbie with elbows and a flapjack. DDT nearfall from Robbie. Godderz comes back with a turnbuckle powerbomb. Clotheslines put both down. Godderz with a clothesline that puts Robbie down. Powerbomb nearfall from Godderz. Adonis Lock Boston Crab in and Robbie gets the rope break. Press slam moved out of by Robbie and he lands a reverse DDT.
Winner by pinfall: Robbie E
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Comments: These two were actually probably given too much time, considering the level of the feud. Wasn’t a bad brawl, but lacked the “feel” of a feud and felt like a mid-show TV match stretched out over ten minutes or so instead of five.
Jeremy Borash with Matt Hardy. Hardy says tonight is his opportunity to cement his legacy as a singles competitor and win the inaugural TNA King of the Mountain Championship.
Matt Morgan with the microphone before the match and he calls for the match to be a street fight.
Street Fight: Bram vs. Matt Morgan
The two exchange punches to start and Matt Morgan drops Bram with shoulder blocks and clotheslines. Reverse chokeslam into the turnbuckle from Morgan. Bram has his head snapped over the top rope and clubs Bram on the apron. Leg drop lands and Morgan punches Bram all along ringside. Bram crawls under the ring and gets the turnbuckle wrench. Wrench to the body and head of Morgan. Cooking sheet to the head of Morgan and trashcan shot soon follows. Trashcan lid used by Bram as well. Morgan comes back with clothesline and a corner splash inside. Side slam from Morgan and he calls for the Chokeslam. Bram elbows out, but Morgan with a Carbon Footprint to send the trashcan back into the face of Bram. Bram snaps the head of Morgan on the top rope and struggles to find a weapon under the ring. Two chairs in the ring and Morgan lands punches before being doubled over. Chair from Bram countered with a Chokeslam on the steel chair for a nearfall. Morgan looks to bring Bram back to his feet and gets hit with a low blow. Brighter Side of Suffering on the chair from Bram.
Winner by pinfall: Bram
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Comments: Another average match. Bram couldn’t find a weapon for a LONG time and that added a layer of awkward to the match. Nothing really bad here and it wasn’t a chore to sit through.
Jeremy Borash with Ethan Carter III and Tyrus and EC3 says he looks and feels like a champion. EC3 says Wednesday will be the start to the Carter reign at Bell to Bell.
Winner Chooses the Stipulation at Bell to Bell: Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards
Austin Aries moves outside to strategize and comes back in to exchange submissions with Davey Richards. Richards unable to get in any offense as Aries ducks between the ropes to separate. Standing switches and Richards gets a rollup for a nearfall. Aries moves outside once again. Richards with an armlock back inside and the two exchange armlocks. Pendulum elbow drop misses and Richards forces Aries outside again. Richards with a dropkick after leapfrogs and ducks galore. Aries once again outside and Richards follows to send Aries into the steel steps. Richards with punches against the barricade and he goes up top back inside. Aries crotches him and kicks him to the floor. Axhandle from the top by Aries and Aries with chops and strikes outside. Slingshot senton and elbow drop get Aries one inside. Snapmare and uppercut to the back of the head from Aries get a nearfall. Rear chinlock applied and Richards fights up. Springboard back elbow gets Aries a nearfall. Both exchange roundhouse kicks and Richards sends Aries out to land a suicide dive. Missile dropkick inside by Richards followed by roundhouse kicks. Springboard head kick gets Richards a nearfall. Aries calling for Bobby Roode and Aries elbows out of a switch. Head kick and German Suplex with a bridge from Richards nearly finish Aries. Aries again calls for Roode from the apron and rakes the face of Richards on the top rope. Richards has his ears boxed and Aries lands a suicide dive. Missile dropkick from Aries back inside and running dropkick blocked as Richards kicks Aries out of the air. Kneebreaker and back suplex into a Last Chancery from Aries. Richards able to hook the bottom rope with his foot for the rope break.
Brainbuster attempt from Aries blocked and Richads with a spinning back kick. Forearm in the corner and a running dropkick from Aries. Michinoku Driver from Richards gets a nearfall and forearms exchanged. Richards pops Aries up and lands the roundhouse kick. Big boot in the corner from Richards followed by a T-bone suplex. Double stomp off the top from Richards gets a nearfall and Roode makes his way to ringside. Roode on the apron and he is pulled down by Eddie Edwards. Aries rolls Richards up with a handful of tights.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Aries
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Comments: Match picked up momentum in all the right places and turned out to be a good match. Pales in comparison to the work the two teams have done together, but showed some of the better work these two are capable of.
Austin Aries calls for a 30 Minute Iron Man match at Bell to Bell.
Jeremy Borash with Eric Young and Young takes aim at Jeff Jarrett, saying he isn’t scared of anyone and they should be scared of him.
Video package takes a look at the reign of TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell and The Dollhouse.
Taryn Terrell with the microphone before the match and she declares herself the greatest TNA Knockouts Champion. Terrell says they have the advantage tonight and Awesome Kong and Brooke won’t be taking her title at Bell to Bell.
Handicap Match: The Dollhouse vs. Brooke & Awesome Kong
Brooke and Awesome Kong work Taryn Terrell, Marti Bell, and Jade into the corner. Kong with a splash on all three and The Dollhouse forced to move outside. Kong works Jade into the corners back inside. Jade kicks back and gets swept to the mat. Jade comes back with kicks between the ropes and continues the combination before getting dropped by a clothesline. Splash from Kong gets a nearfall. Bell breaks the pin and lands on her own partner. Kong splashes both of them and Brooke in with a flying hurricanrana. Brooke now isolated on the Dollhouse side of the ring. Bell with a nearfall and Jade in to land a suplex for a nearfall. Bear hug and hammerlock combo from Jade in and Brooke fights out to make the tag. The Dollhouse has the referee distracted and the referee doesn’t see the tag. The Dollhouse triple team Brooke and Brooke fights back against Bell. Kong and Jade in and Kong with clotheslines and a crossbody for a nearfall. Kong drops Bell and Jade and Brooke comes off the top to knock them down. Jade sat up top as Terrell and Bell sent out by Kong. Butter Face Maker off the top by Brooke.
Winners by pinfall: Brooke & Awesome Kong
Rating: 2.25 out of 5 stars
Comments: The theme of tonight seems to be decent matches that are sort of appetizers for the TV show. This was another in that mold. While nothing interesting in particular, still entertaining for the time it was going.
Jeremy Borash with Magnus and Magnus says the devil can’t catch him tonight because it is inside him as he says this will be the last time these two meet on pay-per-view. Video package recaps the feud between “Cowboy” James Storm and Magnus and Mickie James.
Unsanctioned Match: “Cowboy” James Storm vs. Magnus
The two brawl at ringside and Magnus drops James Storm with punches and works him against the barricade. Storm fights back and gets sent into the barricade after working Magnus on the apron. The two fight out into the crowd. Magnus attempts a powerbomb through a concession table and Storm counters with a back bodydrop to put Magnus through the table. The two fight at ringside and Storm with a Russian Legsweep against the barricade. Storm brings out the beer bottle as Magnus brings it back inside. Magnus catches up with Storm and lands a clothesline. Table brought in by Magnus and Storm catapults Magnus into the bottom of the table. The fight again spills out to ringside and into the stage area. Magnus kicks a generator off a table backstage and it temporarily blanks the stage screens. Magnus misses an axhandle off the steps and lands on the barricade. Storm gets a nearfall back inside. Eye of the Storm attempt through the table blocked and Magnus powerbombs Storm through the table. Baseball slide from Magnus outside and Storm catches him with a head kick on the apron. Draping DDT from Storm and he brings out another table. Storm brings out another bottle after laying Magnus out on the table. Magnus rocks Storm while he argues with the referee and Magnus goes up top after laying Storm on the table. Elbow drop through the table misses as Storm moves out of the way. Storm with a nearfall inside and he brings out a powder. Magnus knocks it out of the hand of Storm and blinds him and the referee. Uranage lands and Magnus covers. Magnus picks up the referee and gets hit with a Last Call Superkick for a nearfall.
Storm takes a swing at Magnus with the cowbell and Magnus ducks to land the Uranage for a nearfall. Storm catches him with the cowbell and catches him with two Superkicks. Magnus still able to kick out. Storm sets up two chairs inside and lays a guardrail across them. Storm goes up top and Magnus comes back with punches. Superplex through the guardrail lands for Magnus. Storm able to kick out. Magnus grabs the beer at ringside and Storm has a bottle of his own. Both land and Storm lands on top of Magnus.
Winner by pinfall: “Cowboy” James Storm
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Comments: A little too much going on here brought the match down a bit, but James Storm has proven to be a very good hardcore wrestler in the past few years. While not his best match out of his last few (Gunner series comes to mind), still a good one.
Jeremy Borash with Drew Galloway and he says tonight isn’t about one last fight with the BDC, but becoming King of The Mountain.
Technical difficulties linger from the James Storm vs. Magnus match as the commentary team cuts in and out and Mr. Anderson is unable to do his signature introduction.
Ethan Carter III & Tyrus vs. Mr. Anderson & Lashley
Mr. Anderson starts with Ethan Carter III. Anderson with an arm drag and fireman’s carry before bringing in Lashley. Lashley scores a takedown and brings Anderson back in. Lashley and Anderson work him over in the corner. Suplex from Lashley blocked and he comes back with aa clothesline. Suplex puts EC3 down. Tyrus drops Lashley from the apron and tags in to land a slam. Elbow drop nearfall from Tyrus. Lashley able to fight away from Tyrus and make the tag. Anderson and EC3 in and Anderson with a neckbreaker. Rolling senton slam gets a nearfall for Anderson. Tyrus lifted by Anderson and EC3 picks the ankle to have Tyrus fall on top. Lashley breaks the pin and Anderson kept in the opponent half of the ring. Tyrus works Anderson in the corner and EC3 does the same. EC3 keeps Anderson on the mat and Anderson able to fight away and make the tag to Lashley. Belly to belly suplexes from Lashley on EC3. EC3 elbows out of the corner and gets powerslammed for a Lashley nearfall. EC3 comes back with a TKO cutter and looks for the One Percenter. Lashley sends him off the ropes and gets a spinebuster nearfall broken by Tyrus. Tyrus pinballed between Lashley and Anderson. EC3 dropped and a double team shoulder tackle drops Tyrus. Tyrus comes back by suplexing Anderson and Lashley. Anderson sent out by a heart punch and Spike attempt ducked by Lashley. Spear lands and EC3 sneaks a tag. Kick to head followed by a One Percenter from EC3.
Winners by pinfall: Ethan Carter III & Tyrus
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Comments: Fine tag match with EC3 being the best performer. Nothing to set it apart from anything else on the card or anything recently in TNA, but not bad and the right person came out looking strong.
Jeremy Borash with Jeff and Karen Jarrett. Jeff says it is all about the moment tonight and he wants to go out as King of the Mountain.
King of the Mountain Match for the TNA King of the Mountain Championship: Drew Galloway vs. Eric Young vs. Matt Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Karen Jarrett)
Jeff Jarrett left in the ring along as Eric Young sets up the first ladder between the barricade and apron. Bobby Roode hit with a back bodydrop from Jarrett and EY gets the same. Jarrett with his strut and Roode rolls him up for a pinfall. Roode is now eligible and Jarrett goes to the penalty box for two minutes. Roode brings the belt down and Matt Hardy pulls the ladder down and lands a Side Effect for a nearfall on Roode. Roode with a spinebuster on Drew Galloway. EY attacks Jarrett outside and scores a pinfall on Jarrett. Jarrett again goes to the penalty box and EY is now eligible as he climbs the ladder. Hardy tips the ladder. Galloway with a Future Shock DDT on the ladder on Hardy. Roode breaks the pin attempt. Jarrett out of the penalty box as everyone brawls inside. Jarrett comes in like a house of fire before being kicked below the belt by EY. EY works Galloway in the corner and Roode gets hit with a Twist of Fate. Galloway with a jackknife cover. Galloway and Hardy both eligible. The announcers now confused as to who is eligible as Roode and EY go to the penalty box. Galloway and Hardy try to hang the belt and Jarrett tips them. The Stroke landed on Galloway and Hardy breaks the pin attempt. Side Effect turned into The Stroke for Jarrett and his pin is against broken. EY and Roode now released and four out of five are eligible according to the announce team. Roode and EY teaming up to take out the field. The two do a Team Canada throwback and EY goes for a Piledriver. Roode fights out and they take each other out to the floor.
Back inside, Jarrett gets under Hardy and Galloway to complete the tower of power. Hardy and Galloway in the penalty box and Roode and EY eligible again according to the announcers. Roode says the three have built this place as himself, EY, and Jarrett exchange shots. EY gets slapped going for the guitar and he chases Karen Jarrett away to bring the guitar in. Jarrett with a low blow and he takes the guitar to the head of Roode. Jarrett now eligible and he takes out Hardy and Galloway going to hang the belt. Roode in the penalty box and Jarrett climbs the ladder. EY pulls Jarrett off the ladder and looks for a powerbomb. They both spill outside and Jarrett looks for The Stroke off the apron. EY gets him and lands a Piledriver on top of the bridged ladder. Roode out of the penalty box as Hardy and EY brawl ringside. Galloway goes to the top of the penalty box and lands a flip dive on top of EY, Roode, and Hardy. Galloway climbing the ladder and Hardy meets him on the other side. The two brawling and the belt drops to the mat. Twist of Fate off the ladder by Hardy and he looks to hang the belt. Roode saves it and brings Hardy down for a powerbomb. Roode and EY fall off the ladders and EY grabs the belt and makes his way up. Jarrett pulls the belt off EY and It falls to the mat. Stroke lands for Jarrett off the ladder. Jarrett makes his way up and hangs the belt.
Winner and NEW TNA King of the Mountain Championship: Jeff Jarrett
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
Comments: Devoid of context, this was a fine match. The context hurts it that much however. The match doesn’t make much sense to begin with and the announce team illustrated that throughout. Jeff Jarrett winning the match is also ridiculous booking wise. This was doomed from the start and the result of the match only dragged it down further.
Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Overall Comments: Despite trying my hardest to like and positively spin the show for a company I have a soft spot for, this show died in the final hour. To beat the dead horse a little more, the matches on the show are entertaining devoid of context. Pro wrestling promotions that rely on television NEED good context though and TNA didn’t have that for this event. Moreover, they don’t have the clout or structure anymore to make these sorts of macro mistakes anymore despite succeeding on micro levels. Simply, it is make or break time given what is known about the company. This show encapsulates everything that this phase of TNA is. Despite trying their best, something always manages to take TNA two major steps back for the one shuffle they take forward. A good in-ring product was brought down by amateurish production values and an absolutely embarrassing, Worst Announcer of the Year award clinching sprint to the finish of a race between Josh Mathews and D’Angelo Dinero. Just like the final year of a certain wrestling promotion, the company puts their best foot forward despite both feet being in the casket. Good matches can work for independent promotions that depend on less frequent events and lack of medium to tell stories. TNA does the opposite of that by putting on great weekly shows and rendering their “special” events worthless. Maybe TNA is on the level of some of those promotions at this point, but it continues to raise their pinnacle nearer to an already high mountaintop of the most impressive promotional falls in professional wrestling.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.