June 16, 2012
The Powerdriver Review
TNA: Slammiversary X
June 10, 2012
UT Arlington College Park Center
The current TNA champs are as follows:
TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Roode (10/26/2011)
TNA Television Champion: Devon (3/18/2012)
TNA X-Division Champion: Austin Aries (9/11/2011)
TNA World Tag Team Champions: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (5/13/2012)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim (11/13/2011)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Eric Young & ODB (2/28/2012)
TNA always manages to make quality PPV intro videos. They made it easy to like too by showing you a lot of the history and most of the promotion’s biggest moments.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz.
TNA GM Hulk Hogan kicks off the show as there is a TON of people here. Looks like they may have a near sellout. College Park Center holds about 7000 compared to the usual 1000 or so the Impact Zone holds. Real enthusiastic crowd too. Hulk says he wants to go “old school” and open the PPV with an X-Division title match between Austin Aries and Samoa Joe. Not sure why this was necessary to announce, but I guess people enjoyed seeing Hogan.
TNA X-Division Champion Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe
People were crapping on this decision to make this a title match questioning the weight limits of the X-Division, but the X-Division is about NO LIMITS. Mike Tenay saying that back in the day has been embedded into my brain. The feeling out process ensues. Aries tries to knot up the quads with kicks, so Joe slaps him in the face. Aries fires back with a headscissors and Joe bails. We could see the Heat Seeking Missile, but Joe stops that with a big kick. Back in, Joe levels Aries with an avalanche and a jumping enziguri kick. Running Face Wash gets two. Snap powerslam does too. Aries flies down into an inverted atomic drop, but brings up the knees to block the senton. The TNA director is REALLY proud of this crowd with all the mega wide shots. Joe elbows Aries to the floor, but Aries goes on the move and comes back inside only to finally deck Joe with the Heat Seeking Missile. That looked incredible. Neckbreaker through the ropes and Joe tumbles back into the corner after a follow up missile dropkick. Joe catches Aries off a charge and hits the Island Driver. Cover, 1-2-NO! They trade strikes and Aries tries another headscissors, but Joe blocks with the powerbomb into the Boston crab into the STF and into the Rings of Saturn! He even rolls Aries over into a cradle for 1-2-NO! VINTAGE JOE! He headbutts Aries down into the corner and calls for the MUSCLE BUSTER. Aries wants none of that and ear claps Joe to the mat for a 450 SPLASH for 1-2-NO! They fight up to their feet when Joe grabs a COQUINA CLUTCH! Aries avoids the body scissors and rolls back onto Joe’s shoulders for 1-2-NO! The STJoe leads to a possible MUSCLE BUSTER, but Aries prevents that finisher again and delivers the Crucifix Driver. He punts Joe in the face, discus forearms him into the corner, and hits the IED. BRAINBUSTER! Cover, 1-2-3! (11:46) There’s the X-Division I love. The finish seemed a bit rushed and I think they should have skipped Hogan’s segment to add some more time, but overall this was still fantastic. ****
Kid Kash vs. Hernandez
Both guys making their returns to TNA here. I have no idea how long they will be here or if it was a one-shot deal since Hernandez now has his own promotion based in Houston. Looks like Hernandez has lost some mass since the last time I saw him. Kash tries for the arm and gets tackled out of the ring. Kash sidesteps a dive attempt, but gets flipped back into the ring from the apron. Hernandez gives him a huge hiptoss out of the corner, but runs into a drop toehold into the ropes. Kash now goes after the arm, which even Tenay and Taz find to be an odd strategy. Lots of kicks from Kash followed by a double jump headscissors. Tornado DDT nails Hernandez, but he fires back with the Slingshot Shoulder Block from the apron. HERE COMES HERNANDEZ! He drills Kash to the floor and connects with the Undertaker Plancha. Back inside the ring, Hernandez can’t get the BORDER TOSS but nails Kash with a FLYING SPLASH for the win. (5:51) Not too shabby. Better than you’d think. **
TNA Top Ten Moments – #3: AJ Styles beating Jerry Lynn to become the first X-Division champion on June 19, 2002.
Devon and Garett Bischoff vs. Robbie E & Robbie T
If I had to guess, Garett Bischoff is Erik Watts 2012? Robbie E can’t handle the Garett, so he tags in Robbie T. He NO-SELLS what Garett is offering. Robbie E trips up Garett from the floor much to the delight of the crowd. Meanwhile, a brunette-looking Madison Rayne comes out to get a closer look at the match. Apparently she’s crushing on somebody here. All that Taz knows is it isn’t he or Tenay. Good to know! Anyways, the beatdown of Garett continues. He kicks out of a side slam and flying knee drop combo. Garett flapjacks Robbie E and hot tags Devon. He looks SUPER motivated even considering the match he’s in. Robbie T breaks up a pin, but he falls out to the floor thanks to Garett and takes a crossbody from the apron. Meanwhile, Devon hits the Faarooq Spinebuster for the win. (5:57) For some reason, they “dance” to celebrate the victory. Harmless fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Jersey Shore gorillas get beaten up? *
Backstage, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian drink appletinis with Jeremy Borash and writing checks their butts can’t cash, like beating AJ Styles and Kurt Angle. According to Taz, Borash is an avid appletini drinker.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
The winner of this one gets a TNA world title shot on the next episode of Impact. We’re four matches in and the crowd is still as hot as when Hogan walked out. Hardy flips a coin and that distracts RVD as he gets nailed. He controls to start, but Anderson drops him with a swinging neckbreaker for two. RVD drills Anderson in the corner with the backflip followed by the spear. RVD kicks Hardy in the head and tries the monkey flip on Anderson, but he pushes Van Dam off and jackknife cover gets two. They tease a tower of doom spot, but Anderson dumps out RVD and brings down Hardy with a superplex. After the impact, RVD flies in and tries the FIVE-STAR FROG SPLASH, but they both move and RVD crashes and burns. They all fight up to their feet as RVD gets hot hitting some signature stuff. Split-legged moonsault on Anderson gets two. RVD spinning heel kicks Hardy down and finally monkey flips Anderson onto Hardy! Anderson backslides RVD and Hardy makes it a double-pin situation for 1-2-NO! Rolling Fireman’s Carry to Hardy and he bounces up to clothesline RVD to the floor. Anderson covers Hardy for two. Now RVD pulls Anderson out to the floor and Hardy dives on top of them. Hardy whips Anderson into the steps and takes RVD back inside for Whisper in the Wind for 1-2-NO! Twist of Fate sets up the SWANTON BOMB for 1-2-NO! Anderson grabs the referee to break up the pin. He then dumps out Hardy. RVD kicks Anderson down and calls for Rolling Thunder, but Anderson stands up and drops RVD with the MIC CHECK for the 1-2-3! (11:25) Always like to see when guys avoid the cliché of having one guy stay on the floor for five minutes with everyone equally wanting to win and acting as such. Another fun, entertaining match. ***¼
In the back, Crimson brags about being undefeated for 470 days. He’s not in any way concerned over who is answering his open challenge, which usually means he’s about to lose.
Is it Goldberg? Batista? John Morrison? IS IT THE WOYAH! Nah, it’s James Storm.
Crimson vs. James Storm
Storm cleans house to start and continues to beat up Crimson wearing his duster. Eventually, Crimson pulls the duster off and chokes Storm. Enough offense from you. Storm makes a quick comeback, delivers Closing Time, and catches Crimson with the LAST CALL to end the streak. (2:10) Now that the streak is over, maybe people will start to care about Crimson. Storm was definitely the right man chosen making him look like a star instead of just giving another victory to one of their ex-WWE superstars. ¾*
Backstage, Austin Aries wants to be THE guy in TNA and will do whatever it takes to get there.
TNA Top Ten Moments – #2: Hulk Hogan signing with TNA on October 27, 2009.
TNA President Dixie Carter comes out and thanks all the fans for their support and how much her family appreciates and enjoys working with the talent. She then inducts the first member to the TNA Hall of Fame = STING! He comes out and tells us he had no idea this was happening, but it’s cool that it did.
TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher
Kim shows up Tessmacher to start. When she walks away to gloat, she walks back over into a series of armdrags. TESS-SHOCKER? Nope. Gail retreats to the floor. She then sidesteps a baseball slide and backs Tessmacher into the apron. Back in, Tessmacher comes back with a headscissors. She tries another wheelbarrow move, but Gail blocks and drops her on the top rope. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Another attempt at the TESS-SHOCKER, but Kim elbows her on the back of the neck and applies a headscissors. Tessmacher rallies back with a swinging neckbreaker and a bunch of clotheslines. Again, Gail avoids the TESS-SHOCKER. It gets kind of ugly though. Gail delivers the Happy Ending neckbreaker and as Tessmacher rolls to the apron, Gail spears her down onto the guardrail. Back inside, it looks like Tessmacher is done. Gail is thinking EAT DEFEAT, but tries the TESS-SHOCKER instead. Tessmacher counters into a forward rollup for the shocking 1-2-3! (7:11) Looks like a title win in her home state is TNA’s way of rewarding Tessmacher for working hard to improve, but I can’t see her having a long title run. Gail Kim really is the Beth Phoenix of the Knockouts division making all these Barbie dolls look somewhat competent. *½
Mr. Joseph Park, Esq. vs. Bully Ray – Anything Goes Match
It shows how out of the loop I am with TNA. I had no idea this character even existed, but I like it! Crazy, I know. Joe Park wears a Johnny Ace track suit to the ring. Bully Ray bullies (imagine that) Joe Park to start. He puts his hands behind his back, even spits in his face, and begs Park to pop him. Since he won’t punch him, Bully Ray slaps Park again. Eventually, Bully Ray charges Park in the corner, but Joe Park moves and slaps Bully Ray in the face. That hurts Bully Ray, so he knocks him down when Joe Park gets excited by the crowd. The beatdown continues while the crowd chants “New York sucks”. Bully Ray finds a chair, but Joe Park trips him up on the way back inside. Joe Park grabs the chair and threatens Bully Ray, but again gets too enamored by the hot crowd. This is fantastic storytelling by the way. Bully Ray grabs the chair and whacks him across the back a couple times. There’s some ringside violence, but then inside the ring, Ray misses a flying senton like he always does. HERE COMES JOE PARK! He pounds Bully Ray down into the corner and “shoulderblocks” him down to make him look even less like a wrestler. Ray cools him off with a jumping boot. Out comes the table and kendo stick. Joe Park punches away Ray when he goes to swing the kendo stick and then hits Bully Ray between the eyes. Cover, 1-2-NO! Joe Park then runs into an elbow in the corner, rolls out to the floor, and hides underneath the ring. Next thing we know, someone resembling Abyss comes out from the other side of the ring and puts Bully Ray through the table with a CHOKESLAM. After the fake Abyss heads back under the ring, Joe Park comes back out and lays on top of Bully Ray for the 1-2-3. (10:24) Usually these matches consist of the heel being the inexperienced manager who everybody wants to see get beat up, but I like how this flipped the script and made people cheer the most underdog of underdogs against the incredibly unlikeable Bully Ray. It’s a story most of us wrestling fans can relate to. Just entertaining! ***
Backstage, TNA world champ Bobby Roode says no one is going to care about Sting being the first inductee to the TNA hall of fame, only that Roode ended Sting’s career.
Hulk Hogan comes back out to introduce the WWE IC champion Christian. He introduces the #1 moment in TNA history. It’s Sting’s return at Final Resolution 2006 when he teamed with Christian to face Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown.
TNA World Tag Team Champions Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle
So Christopher Daniels and Kaz are instigating that there’s a AJ-Dixie love affair. That’s now the second “affair” for AJ Styles. He’s like a literal TNA man whore. Daniels and Kaz concentrate on AJ to start. AJ fires back with dropkicks. He goes to the floor with Kazarian where he slides underneath the guardrail off a whip and springs off the guardrail to KO Kaz with a flying forearm. VINTAGE AJ! Tag to Angle, they double suplex Kaz for two. Kaz goes to the eyes and tags Daniels. Angle backdrops Daniels and tags AJ, who levels Daniels with a backbreaker. STYLES CLASH fails and Daniels grabs a tag. While the ref is with Angle for some reason, Kaz dropkicks Styles up top and his leg gets caught between the ropes tearing at his knee. This makes AJ Styles *YOUR* face in peril. Daniels hiptosses Kazarian onto AJ for a legdrop for two. Nice combo there. They give AJ the Dark City Fight Club finisher for another nearfall. AJ blocks a suplex and fires back with a suplex into a neckbreaker on Kaz. HOT TAG TO ANGLE! He goes absolutely SUPLEX CRAZY. ANGLE SLAM on Daniels for 1-2-NO! Kaz tries to block the Hat Trick of Germans by grabbing hold of Daniels, which just allows Angle to suplex them both at the same time! DOWN COME THE STRAPS! ANKLELOCK on Daniels! Kaz breaks that up with a roundhouse kick. Daniels wants the ANGEL’S WINGS, but Angle backdrops out and tags AJ, who flies in with a springboard forearm. KIP UP! He gives Kaz the Asai DDT while also delivering a DDT to Daniels! Next, AJ misses a corner charge and eats a kick back from Kaz into LAST RITES from Daniels. Angle stops Daniels with a T-Bone Suplex, but Kazarian stops Angle from the apron with a slingshot into a DDT. Styles Suplex Special to Kaz gets 1-2-NO! Kaz fights off a superplex from AJ, but Angle still brings him down with the POP-UP SUPERPLEX! Angle is then cut off with an STO by Daniels. He tries the BME on AJ, but Styles moves and Daniels lands on his feet only to fall back into a nasty Release German by Angle! Styles hits the Pele Kick on Kaz and Angle delivers a flying splash for 1-2-NO! Daniels pulls out the referee. To make him pay, AJ wipes out Daniels with a Springboard SSP! Meanwhile, Angle grabs the ANKLELOCK on Kaz and GRAPEVINES THE LEG! Kaz taps! (14:23) Boy oh boy. This was amazing. Easily the best tag match in ages. Much like the opener, this is the TNA I used to love. If you want to see another ten more years, please do more of this TNA. ****½
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode vs. Sting
In the pre-match video, Hogan calls Sting the biggest star in wrestling today. WHAAAAAT. Roode bails to start and baits Sting out to the floor only to stomp him on the way back inside. OLD SCHOOL. Sting quickly goes for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK though and Roode gets away. Sting beats Roode back into the ring and again tries for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Roode escapes and heads up the ramp. Once again, Sting beats Roode back to ringside only for Roode to snap Sting’s neck on the top rope. Back in, Roode works the neck and even delivers the Perfect rolling neck snap. They trade sleepers, but Roode battles out with a back suplex. Sting stops Roode up top for a superplex and hooks on the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Roode teases a tapout, but he reaches the ropes. Again, Roode bails and Sting brings him back to ringside for a Stinger Splash up against the guardrail. Now he wants the SCORPION DEATHLOCK on top of the announce table for some reason. Roode taps out, but he’s not in the ring, so it doesn’t count. While the ref explains this to Sting, Roode grabs a leftover six pack left by James Storm. One bottle distracts the ref and while he disposes of said bottle, Roode grabs another and blasts Sting in the head. With the six pack remains in the ring, Roode covers and gets the 1-2-3. (10:54) Just another Sting match where he’s way past his prime. It’s just there. You don’t really see anything new. Oh wait, maybe I’m wrong. After the bell, a bleeding Sting beats Roode up the aisle and gives him a SCORPION DEATHDROP OFF THE STAGE THROUGH A TABLE! Okay that was cool. Maybe tonight was not the best night to strongly put over Roode as a heel champion, but he needs to beat somebody who matters in a convincing way instead of these conniving cheap ways he’s been winning. *½
Final Thoughts: I thought, wouldn’t it be hilarious if I did a TNA PPV review? SO I DID AND I’M SO GLAD I DID. The last TNA PPV I watched was Lockdown 2012 and didn’t leave me feeling like I still wanted to even be a wrestling fan afterwards. However, a hot crowd like this from start to finish helps those weaker matches feel much more entertaining than they should be and helps the ones that you know look good on paper even excel to greater heights than you might have expected. This is also the type of PPV that I was going to show a person who only watched WWE, this is a show to introduce them to TNA. And if this crowd is any indication, perhaps TNA is on a HOT streak right now and I really hope it continues with how bland WWE has been ever since the end of Extreme Rules. Thumbs up for Slammiversary 2012. If you like the direction TNA is heading in, please support this company!