TNA SLAMMIVERSARY 2010
The Impact Zone!
June 13, 2010
The PPV opened with a
Before the Bell history recap looking at TNA since debuting in June 2002. They
included historic clips such as Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle's first interaction.
Angle used the "homegrown talent" line in a sit-down interview that surely will
have Eric Bischoff's skin crawling. More recent historic clips included Jeff
Hardy returning to TNA on January 4 and RVD's TNA Title victory on free TV.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay set the stage for tonight's show with the talking points on RVD vs. Sting. Out first to start the show was Kazarian, who was booed by the live crowd. Kurt Angle, yes Kurt Angle in an opening match, came out next to a loud ovation as the babyface for the match.
1 -- KURT ANGLE vs. KAZARIAN
Angle appears to have put on an extraordinary amount of muscle. The crowd remained hot for Angle early on as Kazarian scored early armdrags. The crowd randomly chanted, "U-S-A," which drew laughter and an appropriate question from Taz on commentary that isn't Kazarian's home, California, is in the U.S.? Tenay announced a new Championship Ranking will be announced on Thursday's Impact. At least they remembered. Kazarian landed a low blow out of nowhere and referee Brian Hebner teased a DQ, but Angle over-ruled the ref and said he wanted to continue the match. Kazarian then knocked Angle to the outside and followed with a flip dive on the floor. Back in the ring, Kazarian worked over Angle, who tried to fight back with right hands before landing a release German Suplex.
At 6:00, both men recovered on the mat and continued to exchange control before Angle landed another suplex. Angle stalked Kazarian for an Olympic Slam, but Kazarian slipped out and hit a spinning neckbreaker for a two count. Angle suddenly came back with a powerbomb and he took a page from Samoa Joe's book turning a kick-out into a submission, but Kazarian slipped out into a quick pin attempt for a two count. Kazarian then hit a double-foot kick that landed with a thud. He took his time going up top, giving Angle the opening for a running belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Angle then teased the Anklelock, but Kazarian kicked him away. Kaz followed with a slingshot DDT from the ring apron for a two count.
At 10:00, Kaz kinda ran into the ropes with an attempted clothesline, then kinda fell back into Angle who hit one German Suplex, then a second German Suplex, then a third German Suplex. Angle released, then dropped the straps and told Kaz to get to his feet. Angle stalked Kazarian and teased the Olympic Slam, but Kazarian countered into his reverse piledriver finisher. Kaz made the cover, but Angle kicked out in time. They regrouped and exchanged holds before Kaz landed a backbreaker for a two count. The crowd was quiet here as Kazarian went back to the apron. Kaz teased a springboard, but Angle blocked and hit the Olympic Slam. Angle made a cover, but scored a two count only.
At 13:00, Angle placed Kaz in the corner before going up top. Kazarian cut off Angle and powerbombed him to the corner before attempting a pin with his feet on the ropes, but Angle kicked out. Kazarian then attempted his reverse piledriver again, but Angle countered into the anklelock center ring. Kazarian teased tapping out and scraped the bottom rope with his hands, but Angle pulled him back to center ring. Angle grapevined the leg, which meant it was only a matter of time before Kazarian tapped out to give Angle the win. Post-match, Angle mouthed that it's another one down on the Top 10 Rankings.
WINNER: Angle via submission at 14:15. The match had some slow moments at the end of the match with both men losing steam. It's a match that's subject to a higher critique due to Angle's involvement and the match was just slightly below expectations. It was still a pretty good opening match with Angle advancing toward a date with RVD down the road. (**3/4)
Announcers: Tenay and Taz were shown on-camera going through the list of long-standing TNA wrestlers and employees over the last eight years. Tenay transitioned into giving a shout-out to Jeff Jarrett, who's selling the injury from Sting. Tenay then transitioned again to plugging the X Division Title match up next.
Impact Zone: Brian Kendrick came out first as the challenger for the X Title. Taz said he shared a word with Kendrick in the restroom before the show. On that note, Doug Williams came out to defend the X Title.
2 -- X Division champion DOUG WILLIAMS vs. BRIAN KENDRICK -- X Division Title match
Tenay listed the early-days X Division wrestlers who "set the way" for the division, including Jerry Lynn, Low-Ki, and Michael Shane. Williams grounded Kendrick early on to work him over with a mat-based attack. The match moved to the floor where Williams rammed Kendrick into the guardrail and rolled him back into the ring. Williams went back to a mat-based attack focusing on Kendrick's back before taunting the crowd with his "British Invasion" wrist roll. Williams went back on the attack draping Kendrick across the middle rope, but Williams fell through the ropes to the floor attempting to follow-up. Kendrick then hit a suicide dive on the outside before bringing the action back into the ring. Kendrick went up top and landed a missile dropkick for a two count.
Williams and Kendrick had a rolling pin exchange before Williams executed a snap suplex into a gutwrench suplex. Williams followed with a t-bone suplex for a two count. Kendrick then slapped Williams, who tried taunting Kendrick after controlling the match. Williams lost control trying to be overly-aggressive following up, then Kendrick took Williams to the corner. Williams kicked him away and landed a Tornado DDT for the pin and the win. The commentators were produced to complain that Williams used an "X Division style move" to secure the win. So, only certain moves are for the X Division? Ugh.
WINNER: Williams at 9:33 to retain the X Division Title. Fine match with Williams showing off his technical proficiency, but it was too similar to the opening match to stand out on the PPV. The half-brain storyline about Williams "being a heel" for using certain "X Division moves" is ridiculous when the kayfabe object is to win a match however the rules allow for a wrestler to legally win. Sure, Williams's heel character is that he complains about the "style" of the X Division, but he didn't use an array of highspots with no meaning to win; he simply won with a high-impact move to knock out his opponent for a three count. (**)
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in Eric Bischoff and Miss T. Hemme asked Bischoff about Sting's ominous words and the title match with RVD tonight. Bischoff basically said a bunch of stuff which can be summed up that Bischoff thinks Sting is looking out for himself and he can't wait for RVD to win so they can get Sting out of their hair for a while.
3 -- Knockouts champion MADISON RAYNE vs. ROXXI -- Knockouts Title match
After Madison cut a long promo on Roxxi before the match, Madison tried a sneak attack to score a quick pin, but Roxxi kicked out in time to continue the match. After Madison's attempt to score a quick win, the match developed into a good back-and-forth. Suddenly, Roxxi came up bleeding profusely from the forehead. I certainly didn't expect the first blood of the PPV to be in the third match of the PPV. The camera focused on Roxxi's face throughout her attempted comeback. Roxxi scored close nearfalls before knocking Madison to the outside. Back in the ring, Madison cut off Roxxi and scored the pin for the win. Afterward, they stayed with a shot of Roxxi's blood-soaked face for a while as Madison celebrated the victory in the ring. Roxxi sold being near-tears with the loss while Madison admired herself gloating in victory.
WINNER: Madison at 4:42 to retain the Knockouts Title. Aggressive match. The blood certainly added to the story, even if it was seemingly inadvertent. They continue to build to a babyface Knockout coming into the company to be the "Gail Kim" of the division feuding with Madison. (*1/2)
Impact Zone: Jesse Neal came out first for his match against Brother Ray. Ray then came out and cut the music to cut a promo. Ray shouted for Devon to come to the ring. Suddenly, Shannon Moore stormed the ring to have Neal's back during the proceedings. Ray sold sincerity saying he owes everyone an apology. Some of the castmembers weren't interested in the storyline, so they chanted for tables. Ray paused and said he's been acting like a "total bully and total d-bag." Great, that's going to get over like Mr. Anderson saying he's an a-hole. Ray said there is no reason for him to have treated Neal the way he has. He said it's obvious Neal is doing what they trained him to do. Ray apologized for calling Neal a failure in the Navy. Shannon left during this, of note. Ray apologized again to Devon, Neal, the fans, and the people in the Impact Zone. "I screwed up," Ray said. Devon told Ray that it's over. Ray then gave Neal a hug. Taz said it's just tough love. Ray and Devon then started to leave the ring, leaving Neal alone in the ring. Neal walked off behind Team 3D, then Ray suddenly turned around and blasted Neal in the face before chucking him into the ring...as expected.
4 -- JESSE NEAL vs. BROTHER RAY
The bell sounded and Ray kicked Neal in the face. The refs and security tried to hold Devon back, who screamed at Ray. Devon and Shannon eventually walked away from ringside as Ray began an attack on Neal. Ray began a prolonged attack on Neal with a prolonged beating. Neal then teased a comeback that had no heat. Neal scored a nearfall that drew a mild pop, then Ray went back on the attack including hitting a Bubba Bomb. Suddenly, Tommy Dreamer appeared in the crowd with no music and a spotlight on him. Dreamer, in jeans and t-shirt, did his trademark pose in the crowd with Ray meeting him face-to-face from a distance. Ray then cut off Neal trying to make a comeback. Neal eventually hit a spear and scored a pin for the win. They showed Dreamer then walking away to the back with a smile on his face.
WINNER: Neal at 5:51. As expected, Neal gets a win, but Ray doesn't really do a job. Neal's victory was overshadowed by Dreamer's arrival continuing TNA's attempt to re-create images from ECW. (n/a)
Backstage: Hemme brought in Hernandez for an interview talking about his TNA return and getting a piece of Matt Morgan after Morgan put him on the shelf two months ago.
Impact Zone: Matt Morgan came out to the ring not dressed to wrestle tonight. Morgan was sporting a neckbrace, a cut-off tee, and jeans while holding his neck to sell an injury. Morgan took the mic once in the ring and solemnly said, "It is with deep regret I had to be the one to come out here and inform everybody that the Blueprint Matt Morgan will not be performing on tonight's PPV." Morgan heelishly sold sorrow over this announcement. He told the audience not to thank him, but the animalistic savage Hernandez - pause for the crowd cheering - who brutally jumped him from beyond.
Morgan paused and told "Mr. Referee" he has a signed, sealed note from his doctor that he cannot and will not be performing tonight. Ref Brian Hebner scrutinized the document and Morgan turned to the camera. He said he knows his audience ordered this PPV to see him in action, so he is most sorry. Morgan said he will be back soon enough. Morgan's pacing and delivery has improved on the mic. Very good heel promo. Morgan started to leave the ring, then Hernandez's music hit and Hernandez jumped him on the stage. Hernandez knocked Morgan into the ring and the bell sounded. So, there's apparently a match.
5 -- MATT MORGAN vs. HERNANDEZ
Hernandez choked Mogan with his neckbrace and the ref reprimanded Hernandez for his actions. Hernandez went back on the attack and the ref reprimanded him again. Hernandez had enough and put Hebner in the corner to watch the action. Morgan then dropped down to his knees and begged off before luring Hernandez into a trap sending him to the outside. On the floor, Morgan landed a discus clothesline and sold his neck. Morgan rolled Hernandez back into the ring and rammed Hernandez into the corner ringpost. And again. And again. Hernandez rolled to the outside and sold an injury as Morgan celebrated an attempted count-out victory. Hernandez then re-entered the ring at eight and Morgan went on the attack with his rapid-fire elbows in the corner, followed by a big splash. Morgan hit a sidewalk slam for a two count as the crowd remained quiet for an extended angle into an extended match.
Hernandez eventually made his comeback and ripped off Morgan's shirt to choke him around the neck. There's a Bryan Danielson joke in here somewhere. Hernandez had enough of the ref trying to reprimand him, so he chucked Hebner across the ring, causing a DQ. Morgan tried to leave the ring, but Hernandez chased him down and rammed him into the ring apron. Hernandez then teased a boot into the ringpost like Morgan did to him to put him on the shelf, but Hebner was standing in the way. Hernandez went for the kick anyways and Hebner took the blow when Morgan pulled him in the way. Morgan took off running, then Earl Hebner ran down to ringside to check on his son. Hernandez eventually ran off giving chase to Morgan. And the sympathy and heat went to the ref to conclude the angle.
WINNER: Morgan via DQ at 5:18. They had to change this on the fly, it appears, but going with a five-minute match after what appeared to be just an angle to replace the match and save the match-up for a later date seemed to water down the program. They could have stayed with Morgan's solid heel promo and saved more for later with Hernandez getting his hands on Morgan initially, but not getting a full piece. It seemed like they were trying to get more heat on Morgan with a DQ win, but it didn't come across that well with a five-minute virtual back-and-forth. And the focus on a ref at the end over the two wrestlers was an odd piece of booking. (n/a)
Backstage: Hemme brought in Hulk Hogan for his thoughts on the "whole RVD-Sting situation." Hogan talked about himself before saying he's biased and is looking at Sting from the eyes of being an ex-wrestler. In other words, he's looking to set up Hogan vs. Sting.
Impact Zone: Desmond Wolfe came out to the ring first with Chelsea for the Monster's Ball match. Apparently 30 days in TNA doesn't actually mean 30 days. Abyss then came out with a shopping cart full of weapons to begin the obligatory gimmick match on the PPV.
6 -- ABYSS vs. DESMOND WOLFE (w/Chelsea) -- Monster's Ball match
After placing a chair in the corner of the ring, Abyss grabbed a barbed wire board from under the ring early on. He placed it in the corner of the ring, then saved it for later. Abyss whipped Desmond head-first into the chair wedged in the corner for a pop, then went looking for more weapons. Abyss took too long and Wolfe kicked the middle rope to crotch Abyss. This was followed by two trashcan shots to the head. Yes, it's a can and not a chair, but the image of any type of direct weapon blow to the head remains unacceptable. Wolfe then grabbed a stuffed teddy bear wrapped in barbed wire. He surveyed the odd scene for a while, giving Abyss an opening to cut him off. Abyss then presented the token to Chelsea, who reluctantly accepted. Back in the ring, Abyss dumped shards of glass on the mat. Wolfe sold horror, then rolled out of the ring saying he didn't sign up for this.
Wolfe tried to take off with Chelsea, but Abyss gave chase. Wolfe used Chelsea as a distraction and smashed Abyss with a Kendo Stick. The match turned into a standing brawl down to the stage area and to the announce section. Abyss then fought off Wolfe and chokeslammed him through a section of the platform. Wolfe convulsed to sell the spot, which drew an initial pop before the crowd quieted down. Abyss then dragged Wolfe down the floor area back to the ring where he made an awkward cover, but Wolfe put his foot on the bottom rope to break a count. For his next trick, Abyss set up the barbed wire board in the corner before attempting a superplex from the top, but Wolfe blocked. Wolfe then gave Abyss a sunset flip powerbomb off the top into the barbed wire board. Wolfe made the cover with Abyss's arms sliced up, but Abyss rolled a shoulder Jeff Jarrett-style to escape a pin. Wolfe then grabbed a Kendo stick and cracked it over Abyss's head. And again. Abyss ducked a third shot and gave Wolfe the Shock Treatment for a two count.
At 10:00, Wolfe recovered and cracked the Kendo Stick over Abyss's head, causing Abyss to drop face-first into the shards of plastic glass. They cut to shots of Chelsea apparently selling indigestion watching this play out. Wolfe made a cover, but Abyss kicked out. Wolfe then demanded an object from Chelsea's pursue. The gimmick was not in the purse. Wolfe freaked, then Chelsea pulled out the brass knucks and tossed them to Abyss, much to Wolfe's chagrin. Abyss hit Wolfe with the knucks before dropping him with the Black Hole Slam center ring for the pin and the win. Chelsea continued to sell indigestion as Abyss celebrated the win by licking his own blood.
WINNER: Abyss at 11:45. We've seen enough of these gimmick stunt matches with no long-term selling from Abyss to last a lifetime, but it wasn't terrible with a story in-play and Wolfe's facial reactions selling this match. (n/a)
Backstage: Hemme brought in TNA champ Rob Van Dam. Hemme said the "Internet is buzzing" over his title match tonight. RVD said he has to win this match, not just for him, but for all the fans in TNA. He said it would be a dark day if he lets Sting win tonight. RVD mockingly said it's showtime...no wait, "whole f'n show time."
Video package: A lengthy video on the A.J. Styles vs. Jay Lethal feud involving Ric Flair aired. The closing line: "It's about pride, honor, and respect more than winning and losing." It was the same line from the Hernandez vs. Morgan "match." Why are they have a wrestling match, then? Why not a game of cards or an arm-wrestling contest or a dance-off? Too often, TNA doesn't protect the idea of a wrestling match settling an issue, which is one reason why the audience doesn't buy these PPVs.
7 -- A.J. STYLES (w/Ric Flair) vs. JAY LETHAL
Lethal tried to agitate Styles early on with a slap to the face that drew a pop from the crowd. They had a basic headlock exchange before Styles tried to take out Lethal's legs before Lethal came back with a hard chop. Styles came back with a chop, but Lethal came back with a cartwheel into a dropkick on a seated Styles. Lethal then knocked Styles to the outside and teased a dive, but Styles rolled into the ring. He teased a dive, but Lethal moved and yanked Styles's feet out from under him to send Styles crashing onto the ring apron. Flair checked on Styles before ref Earl Hebner interjected himself. Back in the ring, Styles landed a hard chop flipping Lethal into the ring for a two count. Styles began a methodical attack going after Lethal, who fired back with a nice springboard elbow smash ala Great Muta, which Taz noted.
At 10:00, Lethal mounted a comeback with an array of high-flying moves before hitting a moonsault from the second rope for a two count. Lethal then landed a dropkick in the corner before hitting the Lethal Combination for another close count. Flair started going nuts ringside, which drew Hebner's ire. Back to the match action, Styles missed with a discus clothesline and Lethal dropped Styles for another two count. Styles then tried to come back with the Clash, but Lethal countered into a release Dragon Suplex for a two count when Flair quietly moved Styles's foot under the bottom rope. Lethal then pulled Styles back to center ring and looked down Flair with a focused look before slapping on the figure four. Flair went nuts ringside before Styles escaped the figure four. Lethal and Styles went back and forth, then Lethal scored the pin for the win with a Northern Lights suplex with a bridge for the win. Post-match: Flair snapped on Styles for losing to Lethal of all people. Kazarian then jogged to the ring and tried to calm down Flair, who scolded Styles for the loss. Kaz tried to act like the favorite son consoling Flair and suggesting there will be another day.
WINNER: Lethal at 16:45. Good showcase match for Lethal late in a PPV picking up a singles victory. The focus was more on Flair at times, but it was fine. It's worth noting at this point in the PPV that Taz and Tenay have consistently delivering strong commentary on each match with the customary humor interjected at appropriate points. They're starting to hit their stride as a tandem. (**3/4)
Backstage: Hemme was nowhere to be found. Sting said he sent Hemme packing. He then cut a promo about lifting the cover from everyone's eyes once he wins the TNA Title.
Video package: They focused on the Beer Money vs. Jeff Hardy & Mr. Anderson feud. They cut backstage where Hemme was with a rodeo clown and Anderson. Jeff Hardy said no one carries him in a tag team. Anderson said they need to come up with a name. Assholes of the night? Creatures of the Assholes? Or, the Enigmatic Assholes? Anderson liked the third one. Anderson did the intro, then Hardy finished with the long-form announcement of A-holes.
8 -- BEER MONEY (JAMES STORM & ROBERT ROODE) vs. ENIGMATIC ASSHOLES (JEFF HARDY & MR. ANDERSON)
Beer Money got the heat early on shouting at the A-holes that they're not a real tag team. Tenay went through the history of top tag teams in TNA, including AMW back when Chris Harris was around. The action broke down early on and Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb on Roode, but Storm yanked the ref out of the ring to break the count. The ref reprimanded Anderson for some reason. "Why would I break up the pin?" Anderson asked ref Slick Johnson with a sarcastic tone. Back in the ring, the deal broke down with Beer Money double-teaming Hardy until Anderson tried to break it up. Slick snapped on Anderson, who quietly walked back to his corner. "You're an idiot," Anderson quietly told Slick just barely audible for the arena mic. Beer Money double-teamed Hardy for a while until he busted out a small package on Roode, who kicked out when the ref turned his attention to the pin attempt after being focused on Anderson. Roode started talking trash to Hardy, who suddenly dropped him with a Twist of Fate.
Anderson finally picked up a hot tag and cleaned house. Beer Money accidentally knocked each other around before Storm was knocked to the outside. Hardy then ran off Anderson's back with a dive onto Storm on the floor. Back in the ring, Roode blocked the Mic Check and came back with a Double-A spinebuster for a two count when Hardy snuck back into the ring to break up the pin. All four men then gathered in the ring and Storm hit the Eye of the Storm on Hardy. Storm then randomly put on his Cowboy hat and Hardy knocked him to the floor to block the DWI attempt. They went to the finish and the crowd went quiet waiting to see what was going on. Anderson hit the Mic Check on Storm and the crowd all cheered at once for the pin and the win. Post-match: Anderson had a big gash on his forehead with blood pouring into his eye. Beer Money complained and left the ring. Anderson then took the house mic and announced Hardy as the winner. Hardy returned the favor doing Anderson's gimmick introducing Anderson as the winner.
WINNERS: A-holes at 13:55. Good semi-main event tag match overall. The deal broke down at the end like an independent-style tag match with no application of tag team rules, leading to the crowd sitting quietly waiting for the finish. Hardy and Anderson are certainly over with the TNA audience and make for a good team. Beer Money needed the win, but it made sense for Anderson and Hardy to win as well. I doubt they're building to The Band vs. Anderson & Hardy for the TNA Tag Titles, but it could be a unique selling point for next month's PPV. (**1/2)
Backstage: Sting was shown walking down the hallway in preparation for the main event. After coming to the ring, they cut backstage to show RVD walking down the hallway "interacting" with the hallway lights hanging from the ceiling. Cue up RVD's catchy ring entrance, which is super over. With everyone assembled in the ring, Jeremy Borash handled the formal ring intros. Sting kept his t-shirt on as the crowd greeted him with a mixed reaction. RVD had full backing from the audience.
9 -- TNA World Hvt. champion ROB VAN DAM vs. STING -- TNA World Title match
The bell sounded and Sting will apparently wrestle with his t-shirt on. This didn't last very long in the ring, as Sting quickly took RVD to the outside and they started brawling on the outside. RVD whipped Sting into the base of the grandstands multiple times in a throwback spot to past TNA PPVs. RVD then hung Sting over the guardrail and landed a dropkick flipping Sting back to ringside. The action moved to the other side of the ringside area and Sting returned the favor by running RVD into the base of the grandstands. And they brawled back to ringside before re-entering the ring at the 4:25 mark. Sting stomped away on RVD before hitting a Stinger Splash in the corner, then a second. RVD came back with a spinning heel kick followed by a thrust kick out of the corner for a two count. RVD followed with a split-legged moonsault out of the corner for another nearfall.
The action resumed in the opposite corner where they set up a ref bump involving Earl Hebner that took a while to unfold. Sting then introduced a baseball bat into the proceedings and blasted RVD with multiple bat shots. Suddenly, Jeff Jarrett walked down to the ring to interject himself into the main event. Jarrett ripped the bat away from Sting and hit him with a jab to the gut, followed by a bat shot beneath the jaw. Jarrett bailed, then RVD hit Rolling Thunder on Sting. RVD made a cover and Hebner came awake to make a two count only. RVD attempted a corner move, but Sting moved. Sting then measured RVD for a Stinger Splash, but RVD moved. RVD then dropped Sting in the corner and hit the Five-Star Frogsplash off the top. RVD made the cover and Hebner, making it about himself, made a very slow three count with RVD yelling at Hebner and Sting kinda kicking out after three. And RVD retains the TNA Title. TNA replayed high points from the match and the PPV closed with RVD celebrating the title retention.
WINNER: RVD at 10:58 to retain the TNA World Title. As expected, a basic title match mainly with brawling, some interference, a ref bump, and the bag of tricks to get ten minutes out of Sting. It sets up Sting vs. Jarrett at the next PPV and RVD can move on to facing an opponent who can have a main event-level title match next month. (**)