Bit of a switch up from the usual TNA Telegraph format and I’ll simply run down each segment review style rather than give a more detailed blow by blow account of every bit of action. This is simply so should you want to get an idea of the PPV but still watch it to get some entertainment out of it you can but you can work out whether you can skip certain matches or whether the show is worth checking out at all.
Opening Sequence – It may seem a little odd reviewing an opening video package but it really sets the tone for the PPV. Is there one match that’s more important than the other? Is the PPV theme important? What are we building to etc etc. It’s not a bad opening particularly though the sickly yellow colour scheme for Slammiversary is a bit off putting in itself. Angle/Jarrett and Sting/Anderson got the majority of the treatment but we’re pretty much strauight into the PPV after that…
TNA Tag Team Title Match – James Storm/Alex Shelley vs. The British Invasion – I really enjoyed this match and once you get over the slight surprise that we’re starting with a title match it’s apparent that perhaps having such an obviously strong opener is a very sensible idea. Shelley and Storm actually work really well as a team with Shelley the quicker flippy guy and Storm playing a much more rugged strong guy role than even in Beer Money. The British Invasion did themselves a lot of good in the match and Magnus I think looked really good with Doug Williams perhaps being a little OTT in his selling but solid none the less. Sure, the team you’d expect wins and it’s a bit of a shame the British Invasion really only got on shot at building their side of the match but TNA once again prove their tag division has strength in depth.
Matt Morgan vs. Scott Steiner – We have a little backstage “interview” with Steiner before he goes out directly to the stage through the gorilla position which was an interesting touch. As matches go you get what you expect with Scotty these days. He’s clearly slowing right down now and he’s pretty much stuck in a routine of Belly to Belly suplexes and his Elbow Drop/Push up spot. If you like Steiner then there’s no really difference that Hogan doing the hulk up and legdrop really, if you don’t like Steiner then he’ll seem boring and repetitive. Morgan bores me personally and his voice grates on my ear drums but for a guy of his size he does at least work a quick-ish style with a reasonable amount of variety in it these days. It was a bit of a match of two halves with Steiner taking the first half and Morgan taking over for the finish and it felt a little division 2 compared to the technical superiority of the opener. Right guy won realistically but I’ll miss Steiner on the mic if they keep him off screen.
X-Division Title Match – Abyss vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Kazarian – I’ve got more into the angle as it’s gone on and Abyss really sold me this angle in his last promo before the PPV. The only lingering issue is that with Abyss as champ against the “smaller” guys of the x division the matches all have a little sense of De Ja Vu about them and in a way the three way exposed that fact more. It was nice to see Kax and Kendrick teaming up through most of the match against the common enemy and it certainly wasn’t dull. The ending felt a bit of a throw away after so many of the other moves thrown about looked more impactful but it didn’t take away from a solid match that carries on the X division angle for another month or so.
Samoa Joe vs. Crimson – Now I’m not Crimsons biggest fan, I think he’s getting a big push well before he’s really ready to be going over a lot of the more experienced guys that perhaps he’s just not quite good enough to go over. However his look is fantastic and time will I assume only allow him to become better in the ring and backstage. Joe has sort of been going in the other direction. He always gets a massive promotion when he’s on screen by Tenay and Taz and yet he seems to have been lost in the mid pack. This match then was not set up to be a favourite of mine but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it was booked well right up until the finish which really robbed the match of the momentum both guys had got going. With Joe working on Crimson’s legs early on it meant that Crimson’s slightly more limited ability wasn’t so obvious because his “moves” came in response to Joe’s attacks which were much crisper and varied. I really wished this had gone on for another 5 minutes or so and had Crimson come back much stronger instead of hitting a move out of nowhere which kind of makes him look lucky to win and Joe sloppy for not seeing it coming.
TNA Knockouts Title Match – Mickie James vs. Angelina Love – We get a horrible little segment with Winter and Love before the match, nows the time to go get yourself a drink. You’ll thank me. There’s also a little music level mix up before the match which is a shame because Winter’s theme music is probably the best thing about that team. There’s also a nice moment where Taz makes Tenay corpse slightly before the match starts. This was definitely poor match really although from Love’s point of view she was better than usual. Skip to about 7 minutes in the match to watch a spectacular botch from Angelina that was supposed to be the finish and I can’t quite believe they left that as the finish. James was never in trouble of losing the belt thank God and I wonder how they can possibly stick with the Winter/Love angle when it’s gone no where really and looks like having no real direction
Last Man Standing Match – AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray – Bully has a little shout at Borash before the match about AJ being a boy and him being a man and we also get a little run down of the feud as it has gone. I’m always waiting for Christy Hemme to call Bubba Bully Ray Cirus but she’s disappointed as yet. I liked the match in general but the finish was stupid after everything that went on. Bully kicked him up the arse and he fell through some wood? Seriously? Such a shame really as Bully and AJ had worked a nice match where both guys had looked really awesome and then we get a complete… Russo finish. Again I can’t really complain about the workrate from both guys as they went hell for leather right from the off and Bubba looked to be bleeding pretty heavily. Not Flair heavy but pretty heavy none the less.
TNA World Title Match – Sting vs. Mr. Anderson – Backstage segment from Anderson before this one kicks off and for the first time I enjoyed Anderson’s work. He is suited to being a proper heel so fingers crossed he stays that way. Sting brilliantly creeps up on Anderson when he;s doing his entrance bit but they take an age getting back to the ring and the ref doesn’t count them out when they spend a good minute in the crowd. Now I know that with Foley gone they had to turn one of Hogan/Bischoff into the good guy and so Eric’s involvement in this match I guess makes sense given that Hulk gave HIS word about not getting involved but really the match would have been better without the screwy ending. It was however at least original so points scored there. I thought Sting looked very laboured during this match and I wonder if he’s simply running out of gas against the younger guys. the trouble is it starts to impact on his opponents where they end up looking slow too because they have to wait that extra time for Sting to do something. This wasn’t a title I expected to change hands this time around but Anderson is probably the natural guy forn the belt to go to as TNA seems to have a lot of faces hanging about with not much to do.
Kurt Angle V Jeff Jarrett – Call me a philistine but I cannot bring myself to really care about this match. Whatever TNA or any TNA fanboy would like you to think all their previous matches contained every single moment from this match and were probably a lot more entertaining. If somebody had carved a perfect sphere in marble you might be impressed with technically how good it is but you aren’t going to be entertained by it especially if you’ve seen other spheres that might have been slightly different leading up to it. So there’s nothing wrong here and it was epic enough to blow the feud off for good hopefully. Both guys can still work a hard hitting style despite being on the elder side of the spectrum so you didn’t get the same nagging feeling of watching everything in slow otion like the previous match. Yet saying all that and praising both workers I still didn’t really care who won so all the hard work didn’t really generate much.
Overall – A good PPV and in palces had some excellent little moments and the opening tag match might be a bit of a gem. My biggest dislike is the Impact Zone crowd who were awful. they pretty much went silent during every match at some point. It kills the event when you can only here the thump of bodies on canvas, sounds like it could have been in some church hall in the middle of nowhere. Give the womens match a miss as the only thing you will even vaguely rememeber from it will be the amssive botch at the end. I certainly wouldn;t buy the DVD of it but I wouldn’t be unhappy had I shelled out for it to watch live. It was certainly better than say Over the Limit was and in a way reminded me a little of Wrestlemania in that there was a lot of could have been moments that probably didn’t happen.