TNA Slammiversary 2016 Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando that unfolded less than 24 hours before the event, sometimes people need an outlet to “get away.”
For some, pro wrestling fills that void.
You’d probably wonder who’d rely on TNA for a stress-free product, but the company has had a better 2016 than 2015.
Where Slammiversary 2015 was known for its “technical shortcomings,” we had a packed card for this year’s and with the exception of a few matches, Slammiversary 2016 would be known for being disappointingly average.
– The opening video showed some decent production glamour in how it positioned TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway as a top star and his perspective of “cementing his legacy” with the Title and then transitioned to other Champions in the company like TNA X-Division Champion Trevor Lee and TNA Knockouts Champion Jade before it shifted to other big feuds on the card like Ethan Carter III-The Miracle and Matt-Jeff Hardy.
– The TNA X-Division Championship four-way between Champion Lee, Eddie Edwards, DJZ and Andrew Everett set the tone for the show in a good way thanks to the tightened chemistry of those involved and the fun spots. Storyline-wise, all that was established was that Lee/Everett were part of the “Helms Dynasty” as opponents, but we didn’t know much about their alliance outside of Helms’ shady ways. Did like that Helms was dressed in a presentable blazer and not that damned green jacket and it made sense for the Referee to ban him from ringside early on to give the match some unpredictability. The match also got enough time where everybody shared the spotlight but by far, the most memorable spot was Everett’s springboard corkscrew to the floor. Of course, the heels went at it for a moment, but it didn’t feel dramatic enough for us to care by the end. The sudden cradle pin finish by Edwards on Lee was a nice surprise and came off like a big moment. With Davey Richards set to return soon, things should get interesting quickly.
– It’s a risk when EC3 gets cutesy with his promo metaphors, but he had enough aggression where it didn’t derail it and it hyped the match with Miracle later. He needed redemption for Miracle’s victory over him to end his streak.
– The one shining highlight of the feud between The Tribunal and Mahabali Shera/Grado has been the “Pro Wrestling Purist” character of Coach Al Snow, whose hellbent mission was to keep Grado/Shera from any success in his presence, to the point where he recruited two French fellows (Baron Dax/Basile Baraka) to stay to his mission. Now, if Dax/Baraka didn’t have the personalities of wet socks, they’d be taken more seriously as heels. Even Grado’s light-hearted comedy where he took Snow’s whistle wasn’t enough to salvage the dreaded pace. The story of cheating heels was told on a believable level and Tribunal needed the win to get over as such, but just because it makes sense doesn’t make it exciting. However, Snow’s overzealous celebration was brilliant.
– The backstage segment with Braxton Sutter and James Storm helped establish their match for later without directly telling us so. Sutter has been positioned as the humbled veteran who has finally got his chance while Storm was the supportive veteran, so they “hit it off” when Sutter bumped into Storm while on his way to the stage.
– We knew Gail Kim and Maria had a match booked together for the show and it focused on the question mark of Kim’s status with her kayfabe knee injury at the hands of Maria/Sienna/Allie on the last Impact. Unfortunately, real life mixed with kayfabe but it worked in the storyline’s context. Allie used heel logic to accuse Kim of faking the injury, while Maria revealed that she had a cast on her own hand and the match was off. It made sense here since it appeared Maria had tried to duck out of the match once more, which drew out William Corgan, who mentioned the X-rays were real and she was really injured. Stuck in a bind, they used it to put Kim into the Knockouts Championship match which was to initially feature Champion Jade and Sienna, so it made it a little more interesting. As far as the match itself, there was some decent action, but nothing memorable. The finish was okay in terms of having Sienna win, but we’re not sure what the point was of Marti Bell’s “turn” on her former Dollhouse partner. Maybe it’ll be done to establish Jade’s character some more, but it felt kind of predictable. Sienna getting the belt also keeps Kim on the chase for the belt and further establishes Sienna as unstoppable.
– It’s amazing how Lashley’s character has practically become the monster heel he was meant to be pushed as. Sure, Summer 2014 was a step in the right direction, but his 2015 was laughable and it felt like he took a backseat. His backstage promo helped hype the big main event World Title match against Galloway where the winner could only be decided by knockout or tapout. He emphasized his background in mixed martial arts and had a heel moment where he bullied Jeremy Borash into announcing him as the new Champion even when it hadn’t happened yet. Good heat though.
– The Storm-Sutter match tried to tell the story of “humbled rookie against established veteran” but it was time-filler fodder that didn’t necessarily help either man. On one hand, Sutter looked good in the ring, but we can tell what they’re doing since they had him lose to the Last Call. There was no “turn” here from either side, but we’ll hold out for that. Pretty underwhelming show to this point outside the X-Division opener.
– TNA King Of The Mountain Champion Eli Drake’s backstage promo was chock-full of his charismatic catchphrases and hyped his upcoming defense against his opponent Bram, who he put over as a “crazy, intense man” but dissed him by also calling him a “cross-eyed halfwit.” Enjoyable promo.
– The TNA KOTM Championship match between Champion Drake and Bram started with a near-botch of Drake’s own entrance when he fell backwards off the ring ropes, but he recovered well enough. There was some decent back-and-forth action that nicely utilized the concrete floor, before it headed back into the ring. Did like the “hard luck” story they told as Bram hit his finisher, but the momentum sent Drake out of the ring, who then recovered to hit his finisher on Bram to retain. There were still some noticeable slip-ups as the two didn’t have the best chemistry, but maybe they’ll get the chance to fight again.
– The backstage promo with Miracle/Maria fed right into their egos, as he put himself over as the best wrestler with the hottest wife and promised that EC3’s story wouldn’t have a happy ending. Great stuff.
– The EC3-Miracle match featured some good action, but it felt like it didn’t deliver to the hype that came before it. It was definitely a top match on the card, but came across like another match by the end. The story of Miracle’s short-handed tactics still making him come up short made sense and he did look strong in defeat, taking three One Percenters and getting to hit a Miracle In Progress on the chair for a good near-fall. It was obvious that EC3 would win this, so at least we had that.
– Matt Hardy’s backstage promo taped earlier in the day was a little hard to take serious with emphasis on his weird accent, but it fit his character to brag that he was the reason for Jeff’s success and was the true face of the Hardys. It helped sell the match further as a must-see spectacle.
– The Full Metal Mayhem match between Matt and Jeff Hardy was the expected hardcore fiesta right from the moment we saw Matt’s “sick” entrance for his broken self. A lot of risky spots here, one that stuck out particularly was Matt’s Twist of Fate through the extended ladder and his powerbomb on Jeff that went through a keyboard of all things. It was hell and carnage right down to the appropriate finish where Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb off a ladder in the ring onto Matt through a table on the outside. Wrestling fans can rejoice. Brother Nero has not been deleted. Probably the best match on the show looking back.
– The backstage promo from TNA World Tag Team Champions Decay almost made us forget about that match to begin with, but it could’ve been worse. Liked how each of the members got a chance to speak and we knew from this that Abyss was beautiful, the future was decayed and nightmares were indeed real. Rosemary only mentioned how the Bro-Mans would get destroyed upon their resurrection. Amen to that.
– In retrospect, the TNA World Tag Team Championship match between The Bro-Mans and Champions Abyss/Crazzy Steve was meh. The standoff spot between Rosemary and Jesse was pretty lame, even if he did throw her out of the ring onto her partners. It got better towards the end of the match, as it almost looked like the belts would change hands upon a backfired Decay plan where Rosemary’s mist got into Abyss’ eyes, who then accidentally chokeslammed Steve for a good near-fall. It was basically a race between a clean finish for the faces and a dirty finish for the heels, and it was luckily Decay that came out victorious. Sort of overbooked, but we liked the subtle twists and turns. Bro-Mans 2016 have been horrible and a Title change here would’ve truly spelled “Decay.”
– Galloway’s backstage promo gave us some good last-minute hype for the main event, as Galloway boasted his best accomplishment in technical wrestling – making Kurt Angle tap out. He mixed that into his personal story of “working on the dream 16 years in the making.” A noble promo from a noble Champion.
– The main event match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship between Champion Galloway and Lashley where the winner could only be decided by KO or tapout was the physical match we expected in retrospect to the stipulation. Liked how the match started right off the bat with a Claymore Kick from Galloway and unfolded itself into a technical affair with high-impact moves. In the end, Lashley knocked out Galloway to become the new Champion. Some may argue that the Title change was premature since Galloway had done an excellent job as a fighting Champion, but Lashley on top makes the most sense right now. It sounds like the route for Bound For Glory is Lashley-EC3, which essentially writes itself.
- TNA X-Division Championship – Fatal Four-Way – Eddie Edwards def. DJZ, Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee (Champion) (w/Gregory Shane Helms) via pinfall to become new Champion
- The Tribunal (w/Coach Al Snow) def. Mahabali Shera/Grado via pinfall
- TNA Knockouts Championship – Three-Way – Sienna def. Jade (Champion) and Gail Kim via pinfall to become new Champion
- James Storm def. Braxton Sutter via pinfall
- TNA King Of The Mountain Championship – Eli Drake (Champion) def. Bram via pinfall to retain
- Full Metal Mayhem – Jeff Hardy def. Matt Hardy (w/Reby) via pinfall
- TNA World Tag Team Championships – Crazzy Steve/Abyss (w/Rosemary) (Champions) def. The Bro-Mans via pinfall to retain
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Can Only Win By Knockout Or Tapout – Lashley def. Drew Galloway (Champion) via KO to become new Champion
Posted on July 3, 2016, in TNA and tagged Abyss, Allie, Andrew Everett, Bram, Braxton Sutter, Coach Al Snow, Crazzy Steve, Decay, DJZ, Drew Galloway, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, Grado, Gregory Shane Helms, Jade, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Jeremy Borash, Josh Mathews, Lashley, Mahabali Shera, Maria, Marti Bell, Matt Hardy, Raquel, Rosemary, Sienna, The Bro-Mans, The Miracle, The Pope, The Tribunal, Trevor Lee, William Corgan. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.