Written by: Colin Rinehart
TNA Slammiversary X
June 10th, 2012
College Park Center, Arlington, Texas
Attendance: Early Estimates-5,000-6,000 +/-
Welcome everyone to another edition of 411’s live TNA PPV coverage. I’ll be updating this page periodically through-out the show tonight with coverage and analysis of all the happenings on tonight’s big tenth anniversary show for TNA. Our main event tonight pits Bobby Roode against Sting in a World title match but we’ve also got a huge tag team title match with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian taking on the team of AJ Styles and Kurt Angle in what’s bound to be a good match. Also tonight we’ve got a battle of former ROH World champions in Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe as well as a triple threat match between Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, and Rob Van Dam to determine the next in line to the World title. We’ve also got the official opening of the TNA Hall of Fame with an announced appearance by current WWE superstar Christian so it should be an interesting evening. All of this and more, so let’s kick off the festivities.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open the show with a highlights package of some of the big moments in the past ten years of TNA (the debuts of Kurt Angle, Sting, and Hulk Hogan among others) before doing the usual live open in the arena, which is legitimately packed in what has to be one of the biggest crowds in TNA history as the place looks to be just about legit sold out. Hulk Hogan makes his way out to kick off the show (of course). He talks about how excited he is with the current TNA product and then announces that we’re going to open the show tonight old-school style with Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe and it’s going to be for the X-Division title instead of a non-title affair.
X-Division Title Match
Austin Aries © vs. Samoa Joe
Good to see Joe back in the X-Division as it’s certainly better than him being routinely forgotten about. Big dueling chants from the crowd to start, and boy is it refreshing to hear a hot TNA crowd. Both men are cautious to start, gauging each other with quick kicks and stiff chops before Aries sends Joe to the floor with a hurricanrana. He attempts the tope but Joe meets him with a forearm at the apron. Back inside Joe hit the facewash boot on Austin in the corner. Joe catches Aries off the top rope and tries a back senton but Austin gets the knees up. Forearm from Joe sends the champ to the floor and Joe teases a tope but tumbles to the floor and eats a tope from Aries instead. Missile dropkick from Aries back in the ring but Joe catches his cross body attempt in the corner and plants him with a running powerslam for a two count. Aries tries another ‘rana but Joe counters with a big powerbomb and of course transitions into the Boston crab afterwards before transitioning into an STF. And if that wasn’t enough he transitions from THAT into an abdominal stretch. Joe looks motivated tonight. Vicious headbutts in the corner from Joe and he looks for the Muscle Buster but Aries blocks it with a Mongolian chop and then hits the 450 Splash…but Joe kicks out! Forearm exchange back on their feet and Joe loosely applies the Coquina Clutch, but Aries counters into a close pin attempt. STO in the corner from Joe and he looks for the Muscle Buster again, but Aries counters into a Crucifix Bomb! Roaring elbow from Aries in the corner and he finishes Joe off with the brainbuster to retain at 11:49. Hell of an opening match between two guys intimately familiar with each other, Joe continues to look newly motivated in 2012 and Aries excellent title reign rolls on with another great title defense. Perfect way to kick off the show and both men trade a fist-bump of respect afterwards. ***1/2
Kid Kash vs. Hernandez
Talk about random, when was this match even announced? Kash is a former X-Division champ from the early days of the company though, so it fits tonight’s theme. Kash shows off the speed early with a leapfrog but Hernandez sends him flying out of the ring with a shoulder block and then brings Kash back in the hardway. Kash is able to target Hernandez’s shoulder with a dropkick and works it over with a submission, which is a unique strategy against the big man. Hernandez gets his face planted directly into the mat in a nasty moment after taking a top rope flying headscissors and Kash follows up with a tornado DDT. Slingshot shoulder block from Hernandez cuts off Kash’s spurt of offense. Another shoulder-block sends Kash out to the floor and Hernandez takes him out with a huge suicide dive over the top rope! There’s that crazy agile Hernandez we all fell in love with years ago. Kash gets sent off the top rope back inside and Hernandez finishes him off with a top rope splash at 5:52. Kind of a random match up but both guys looked good and worked in a few nice spots in the short time they had to work with. I’ve said it a few times now but Kash would be a perfect veteran addition to the X-Division on a more long term basis. **1/2
We flashback to another historical TNA moment, this time AJ Styles being crowned the first ever X-Division champion.
Devon/Garrett Bischoff vs. Robbie E./Robbie T.
This match screams “pre-show” to me but they’re quite keen of Devon and Garrett for some reason. Garrett starts off with Robbie E with some Erik Watts-like basic babyface offense. Hey, wasn’t Watts in TNA for a cup of coffee? Shudder. Robbie T tags in now and Garrett can’t get anywhere with him as Madison Rayne makes her way out to the ramp all dressed up, presumably to watch her “mystery love” in this match. How funny would it be if it wound up being Devon? E tags back in and hits a clothesline for a cover and the heels double team Garrett for a bit. E works a sleeper on Garrett for a bit until the younger man gets the hot tag to Devon, who’s a HOUSE OF FIRE. Where did that cliche even originate from? Bischoff takes out T with a cross body outside the ring and Devon finishes off E with the spinebuster at 5:56. Just a quick formula tag match, not bad but not particularly exciting either. Devon and Garrett bust out some of the goofiest dance moves afterwards to celebrate. **
Backstage Jeremy Borash, whose been here since before the first show, is with the tag champs Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Kaz brags about all of his past accolades in the company while Daniels hands a fruity looking drink in a martini glass to JB and raises a glass of his own to toast to the champs.
TNA World Title Number One Contender’s Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam
Anderson does his usual pre-match promo before we start. Jeff gets a pretty lukewarm reaction surprisingly. Jeff attacks Rob at the bell and then nails Anderson (who has way more hair than I’ve ever seen him with) with a forearm. Hardy uses Anderson to launch himself into Rob in the corner with a leg lariat but gets caught with a swinging neckbreaker from Anderson. Anderson blocks the Rolling Thunder from RVD in the corner with a jack-knife cover attempt for two. All three men tease the Tower of Doom spot in the corner but Anderson sends Rob out to the floor and just superplexes Jeff instead., Rob tries for the Five Star Frog Splash directly afterwards but both men move out of the way. Neat spot. Rob tries a leg scissors cover on Jeff for two then hits a top rope thrust-kick for another near fall. Split-legged moonsault from Rob onto Anderson but Jeff breaks the cover up. Rob monkey-flips Anderson onto Jeff and gets another near fall. Really good timing and delivery so far from everyone. Hardy and Anderson both cover Rob at the same time in another inventive spot. Rolling senton from Anderson on Hardy and he clotheslines Rob out of the ring when he pops back up from the move. Anderson and RVD begin brawling outside the ring and Hardy wipes them both out with a big cross body off the top rope to the floor! Back inside Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind on RVD and we’ve got our first “This is Awesome!” chant in awhile. Big time DDT from Jeff plants Rob and he follows up with the Swanton, but Anderson breaks up the count by pulling out the ref. Anderson tosses Hardy out of the ring into the guardrail but eats a boot from RVD. Rob tries the Rolling Thunder again but eats the Mic Check from Anderson and that’s enough to give Anderson the win at 11:25. I wasn’t sure this was going to work but boy was I wrong as these guys pulled out some really inventive spots and went all out for the duration of the match. They were able to avoid the cliche “knock one guy out of the ring and then do a bunch of spots with the remaining two guys, switch a guy, repeat” formula that triple threats can fall into sometimes too so extra points there. Fun stuff. ***1/2
Backstage Crimson informs JB that he doesn’t care who accepts his open challenge. Heel Crimson is much more tolerable than bland babyface Crimson. He heads out to the ring to brag about his undefeated streak and talk down the crowd a bit and a “You suck!” chant starts up. Crimson waits for someone to come out and answer his open challenge…and out comes the former World champ James Storm!
James Storm vs. Crimson
Nice surprise bringing Storm back here, didn’t realize he was healthy enough to wrestle. Storm immediately sends Crimson to the floor with some big right hands and we’re off. He suplexes Crimson back into the ring and when he tries to finally take his jacket off Crimson is able to get some offense in. Big forearm from Storm and he blasts Crimson with the Last Call superkick to end Crimson’s streak finally at 2:11. This was as good of a way as any to end Crimson’s streak as that angle had more than run it’s course and at this point was more of a detriment than an attribute for Crimson. The crowd really went apeshit for this whole segment and match too so this worked. *
Backstage JB is with the X-Division champion Austin Aries and wants to know what’s next for him. Aries says he wants to be the man that sets the bar and in the main event, and he’ll do anything to get there. Damn right, this X-Division title reign for Aries has been the perfect way to establish him as a star in the company and at this point he’s above the title and deserves the push into the main event, which if you can’t tell from the involvement of Sting in our main event tonight, badly needs fresh talent. For once I’m extremely happy with how TNA has handled building up a talent, but alot of that credit goes to Aries for getting over so quickly and easily.
Resident Texan Dixie Carter comes out next and receives a very warm reception despite her recent tawdry affair angle with AJ Styles. Dixie announces that tonight’s crowd is the largest in the United States in TNA history. Dixie thanks her parents, Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, Spike TV, and all of the fans for bringing them to this moment. Dixie says they aren’t ashamed of being a “WRESTLING company” and then decides to bring out the whole damn roster to milk in the fan’s appreciation a bit. Everyone from Angle and Styles to the Knockouts and the refs come out. Dixie Carter next decides to introduce the first introduction into the TNA Hall of Fame…Sting!
We get a nice video package with members of the roster praising Sting’s historic career. Sting hits the ring to a big ovation and hugs Dixie. A “Thank You Sting!” chant starts up before it’s quickly replaced by a monster “YES!” Daniel Bryan chant, much to my amusement. Dixie puts over how much Sting has meant to TNA’s growth as a company (which is true, they never would have gotten the Spike TV deal without him) and then makes me laugh a bit by claiming he’s doing his best work ever at the current moment. She says the official induction ceremony will happen at Bound For Glory however, not tonight. Sting, always humble, thanks Dixie, the roster, and of course the fans. He claims tonight will be SHOWTIME and that wraps up our segment. Hmm, no Christian? Maybe he’s involved in something else tonight?
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Gail Kim © vs. Miss Tessmacher
Nice pop for the native Texan Tessmacher. Kim nails her with a dropkick after the bell but Tessmacher delivers an armdrag and Gail bails to the floor. Tessmacher follows her out and gets her back sent into the ring apron. Back inside Brooke hits a clothesline from the second rope and fires off a decent hurricanrana. Gail drops her throat first over the top rope from the wheelbarrow position and feeds her forearms. Shoulderbreaker out of the corner gets Gail two and she works a neat headscissors submission on Tessmacher as the smarky crowd seems more into Gail then the hometown girl. Tessmacher fires off a neckbreaker and then hits a dropkick in the corner. Tessmacher botches a move and seems legit hurt and it doesn’t help that Gail bumps her off the apron, sending her into the guard rail outside the ring. Tessmacher reverses a suplex attempt into a roll-up and gets the three count and the title at 6:44. Tessmacher is over so she’s not a bad candidate to take the belt off Gail even if she’s not a great worker, but I figured it would be later down the line. Match was decent enough but Tessmacher was sloppy and this probably should have been a bigger “moment” in front of her hometown crowd than it actually wound up being. *3/4
Bully Ray sneaks up behind JB backstage for some promo time. He says he’s from Hell’s Kitchen, “God’s Country”, which has to be the line of the night so far. Ray reminds Joseph Park that he’s not going to be legally responsible if he plays dirty with Park because “anything goes” in their match.
“Anything Goes” Match
Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
How dumb did I feel when I realized only about three weeks ago that Park is actually Abyss without the mask, but I guess that just speaks to how well he plays the Park character. He comes out in a jogging suit and a big “Yankees Suck!” chant starts up in reference to Ray’s hat. Have I mentioned I love this crowd? Park takes off his glasses and Ray wants him to take a free shot. He does and misses of course. Bully spits in his face and Joseph slaps him in the face for a big pop. Ray nails him with a forearm and Park goes down. Bully grabs a chair but Park manages to grab it from him. He teases hitting him with it but turns his back stupidly and Ray nails him with another forearm before waffling him with two chairshots. The action spills to the floor where Ray blasts Park with a water bottle. Back inside Ray misses the back senton from the top and Park HULKS UP, feeding off the crowd enough to lay in some girlish fisticuffs on Ray in the corner before Ray kicks his face off. Ray pulls a table out and sets it up in the ring as an “E-C-Dub!” chant breaks out. He grabs a kendo stick as well but Park grabs a hold of it and nails Ray with the kendo stick for a near fall. Park slides out of the ring and underneath the ring….and then Abyss slides out the other side! Abyss chokeslams Ray through the table and then disappears back under the ring, and Park conveniently returns from under the ring and covers Ray for the win at 10:25. Park played his role as a non-wrestler very well here and while this wasn’t as brutal or exciting of a match as I was hoping for they did work a good story and the finish was amusing. Park was way over too. **1/2
Backstage the World champion Bobby Roode shits on the party by claiming no one cares about Sting’s Hall of Fame induction and that he’ll be retaining his title later tonight.
Hulk Hogan comes out next and announces his next surprise for the fans…Christian Cage! It’s pretty surreal to see the current WWE Intercontinental champion rolling up into a TNA ring in the middle of a PPV. Tenay puts over his time in the company and his former NWA World title reign. He gets some “Welcome back!” and “Please come back!” chants. Christian jokes that the last time he was here there were a few more corners to the ring but even though some of the faces and venues have changed the one thing that hasn’t changed is the fans. Christian says everyone in attendance and watching at home should get up and give themselves a round of applause. Christian gets down to business now though, paying off the historical moments countdown by showing us the number one moment in TNA history, the debut of Sting. We go right into the video package for the next match afterwards but this was a neat and surreal little moment to see a current WWE champion in a TNA ring for a PPV. I doubt it will lead to anything but just the fact that the two companies are working together in some way gives me hope for the future that perhaps they could work out some sort of talent exchange.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Christopher Daniels/Kazarian © vs. AJ Styles/Kurt Angle
I have to admit I’ve been really looking forward to this one. AJ hits the ring as soon as his music starts and we’re off. Kaz tries a rollup but AJ hits a pair of dropkicks. The action spills to the floor where AJ is nearly sent into the guardrail but he slides underneath the rail then launches himself off of it with a flying forearm on Kaz! Off-camera Angle apparently hits Daniels with a flying forearm of his own and AJ tags Angle in for a double team suplex. Angle backdrops Daniels and then tags AJ back in, who delivers a big backbreaker. Kaz tags in and nails AJ on the top rope with a big spin kick, leaving AJ hanging from the top rope by one knee in grotesque fashion. Daniels and Kaz trade quick tags in their corner, working AJ over as our babyface in peril. They hit a nice reverse 3-D of sorts on AJ and Kaz tries for a suplex, but AJ counters into a nasty neckbreaker. Daniels tags in but AJ gets the hot tag to Angle. Kurt hands out a belly to belly to Daniels before giving both of the tag champs a German suplex. Angle Slam on Daniels but Kaz breaks the cover up. Another pair of Germans on Kaz and when Kaz tries to grab the ropes to break up the third one he winds up grabbing a hold of Daniels so that Angle delivers a double German suplex to both men! Slightly contrived but a cool spot nevertheless. Angle blocks the Angel’s Wings from Daniels and tags AJ in, who cleans house on the champs and then delivers a reverse/standard DDT combo to both of them for a thunderous pop. All four men take each other out with big moves and Styles nearly wins it with a wheelbarrow facebuster. Top rope belly to belly suplex on Kaz from Angle but he gets wiped out with an STO from Daniels when he tries celebrating. Daniels misses the Best Moonsault Ever but lands on his feet only to be planted with a German from Angle! Pele kick on Kaz and AJ makes the tag to Angle, who hits a top rope splash for a two count that nearly wins it but Daniels pulls the ref out. No worries, AJ wipes Daniels out with a springboard shooting star press! Insane. Angle applies the ankle lock to Kaz in the ring and he taps out despite being two inches away from the ropes to give Angle and Styles the titles at 14:25. I could have totally used another five minutes to really flesh this one out but what we got was flat out amazing as all four men went balls to the wall just as I expected and delivered all kinds of awesome sequences and spots. Styles and Angle as tag champs should lead to some interesting stuff down the line too. ***3/4
TNA World Title Match
Robert Roode © vs. Sting
I love Sting and am glad he’s the first induction into the TNA Hall of Fame, but I really hope that doesn’t mean we’re in line for another Sting title run. Roode stalls for quite a bit to start but finally hits the ring and Sting nearly gets him in the Scorpion Death Lock, which sends Roode bailing out of the ring for a breather. Sting follows him out and throws him into the guardrail. Why does every modern Sting match wind up outside the ring within 20 seconds of the bell? Roode teases walking off on the match but Sting grabs him and sends him into the steel steps. Back in the ring Roode takes back the momentum with some big chops in the corner. Roode works a sleeper on Sting but Sting breaks it up and delivers a superplex. Sting locks him into the Scorpion Death Lock but Roode is able to escape the hold barely. The action spills outside once again and Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Roode on the guard-rails. Sting locks Roode into the Scorpion Death Lock on top of the announcer’s table and Roode taps out, but you can’t win by submission outside the ring! Roode grabs a beer bottle left over from James Storm’s return and smashes Sting over the head with it behind the ref’s back to get the cheap win to retain at 10:55. A fun brawl and much better than some of Sting’s recent efforts, this made both guys look good (Roode winning in the cowardly heel way works perfectly with his character) and was a fine way to cap off a surprisingly fun show. ***
After the match Sting is pissed, so he suplexes Roode on the ramp. Sting winds up giving Roode a Stinger Death Drop off the ramp through a bit of staging for a big bump to close off the PPV.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.