TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV REPORT 6/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV
Jun 8, 2008 - 9:51:06 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
TNA Slammiversary PPV Report
June 8, 2008
Southaven, Miss. (billed as being from Memphis, Tenn.)
By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
Opening video package: An Elvis-themed video opened the show promoting all the matches on the PPV with enough clichés to fill two record albums. It's Shake, Rattle, Roll.
Announcers: While fireworks shot off, Don West simply exclaimed, "Rhino!" He then finished the thought on the King of the Mountain match in the main event. They're starting with the X Division Title match. Ya know, to establish the prestige of the forgotten title.
In-ring: Kaz came to the ring well-tanned and with a heavy wrap around his left arm. Apparently there was an injury involved. Petey Williams then came out with freak and Steiner to defend the belt. West mentioned Petey's orbital injury, which was never referenced on TV. Announcers hyped Kaz having a chance to challenge for the TNA Title on Impact this week as the X Division champion if he wins the match tonight.
1 -- X Division champion PETEY WILLIAMS (w/Scott Steiner and Rhaka Khan) vs. KAZ -- X Division Title mach
Petey is sporting an eye-protecting mask that was apparently designed by the same guy who did Mick Foley's Mankind mask. Just an odd-looking mask. He made the most of it, though, and rose above the mask restrictions to dominate the first-half of the match. Petey called for the Canadian Destroyer at 10:00, but Kaz blocked into a modified Cop Killer for a close two count. Freak then hopped into the ring and we have our first female interference of the evening. Kaz cut her off with a dropkick, but Steiner had slipped a lead pipe into the ring. Petey then smashed Kaz in the face with a pipe and Kaz came up bleeding. Yes, blood in the first match of the show. Oh, I see why. TNA is channeling Austin at WrestleMania 13 with Petey slapping on the Sharpshooter and the close-up shot of Kaz's face covered in blood. Kaz quickly slipped out, though, and scored a roll-up for a nearfall. At 15:00, Kaz went up top, but Steiner interfered. Kaz cleared him off the apron, then he tried a sunset flip, but Petey rolled through into a Canadian Destroyer for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Petey in 16:00 to retain the X Division Title. A very good opening match. Could have been a featured match to sell a few additional PPV buys, but TNA didn't give the X Division any focus until the final show before the PPV. (***)
Post-match: Steiner and his crew beat down Kaz after the match. Steiner then took the mic and said Kaz was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wanted to know why he isn't on the show tonight. Steiner said TNA is scared of him being World champion. He took out his frustrations with another beating on Kaz. Steiner vowed to screw Kaz tonight. Oh dear. He said Kaz is supposed to get a title shot on Thursday, but he's going to make sure Kaz doesn't make it to Thursday.
Instead, some familiar music hit and out walked Abyss in Triple H's Judgment Day prison suit. Abyss stormed the ring, with mask on, and he stared down Steiner. Steiner then threw Petey into harm's way and Abyss delivered a Black Hole Slam on Petey. Abyss, sporting a combination of fake Undertaker and PWG Excalibur mask, delivered a Black Hole Slam to Steiner for good measure. Abyss then throttled Freak and gave her a Black Hole Slam. He then picked up Kaz and helped him off.
Announcers: Tenay and West broke down the card. The generic overweight girl with the Beautiful People is called Moose. Where do they come up with this? Suddenly, West lost track of what's going on. After Tenay finished breaking down the card, Eric Young jumped on the set and said the King is here tonight. Tenay tried not to break up laughing at the absurdity of this. Young then ran over to a reserved seat for Elvis.
Video package: They did a video on Kevin Nash, who lusts for money. ... Sit-down interview: Borash brought in Nash, who was in basketball shorts, to talk about cashing in his investment on Samoa Joe.
Video package: The Knockouts video aired where they diss the WWE divas. ... They cut to some footage of Graceland to show off the mansion.
In-ring: Suddenly, the camera was turned upside down back in the arena. Beautiful People's music started, then stopped. And then it hit again. Moose came out to stand next to Angelina and Velvet. She fits into the group like Hillary Clinton at a presidential debate. Gail Kim then led out the babyface trio. ODB came out head-banging, followed by everyone's little brother, Roxxi.
2 -- GAIL KIM & ODB & ROXXI LEVEAUX vs. ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY & MOOSE
Before the bell sounded, Moose found herself stuck in the middle of a babyface sandwich. The Beautiful People bailed to the floor, allowing Moose to take a beating to start things off. Angelina and Velvet started to walk off hand-in-hand, but the babyfaces ran them down. It's very difficult to take any of this seriously when Slick Johnson is the referee. His referee outfits are more and more bizarre each month. Eventually the action returned to the ring where Moose worked over Roxxi. Gail was then victimized for a while as the heel divas worked on her injured knee. After ODB took a hot tag and the action broke down, ODB finished off Moose with a powerslam for the win.
WINNERS: ODB & Gail & Roxxi in 10:00. Basic six-person tag match with the new "muscle" taking the fall so Angelina and Velvet didn't have to. (*)
Video package: They focused on why Rhino should win King of the Mountain. ... Lauren with a sit-down interview with Rhino, who did yet another promo about dealing with his issues at home and on the road. Same song, different verse. And tonight's match is about proving that he can sit on top of the mountain again. The second chance starts tonight.
3 -- TNA tag team champions LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ w/Salinas and Hector Guerrero) vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- TNA Tag Title match
A minute into the match, the fans chanted for tables. This presents a challenge to the wrestlers to make the fans forget about the tables and present a good tag match. West said Ray is checking in at over 300 pounds, then Tenay ribbed West by saying Ray is below 275 pounds. West completely zoned out on the month-long program of 3D having to make weight to keep their jobs, so Tenay laughed and moved on. LAX took out Ray and Devon on the floor with the flip dive combo, then the fans chanted for tables a third time. 3D gained control and Ray kicked Salinas and Hector on the floor.
At 10:00, they did the spot where the ref didn't see the hot tag to Hernandez, so he was sent back to his corner while 3D worked over Homicide some more. Hernandez eventually took the tag and delivered a big delayed vertical suplex on Devon. Fans chanted for tables a fourth time while 3D set up Hernandez for the diving headbutt to the crotch, but Homicide knocked Devon off the top. Suddenly the whole thing broke down with Johnny Devine storming to the ring, but Hector cane-shotted him. Meanwhile, Salinas gave Ray a headbutt to the crotch behind the ref's back. No pop for any of this, as the crowd still wants tables. LAX had a pin on Ray, but Devon pulled the ref out of the ring. Homicide tried to take out Devon on the floor, but Devon moved. Ray then crotched Hernandez from behind and they wanted 3D, but Homicide snuck into the ring from behind and rolled up Devon for the pin and the win. 3D was in a state of shock post-match at having the win in hand before having it taken away from them.
WINNERS: LAX in 15:00 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. Just a slow, plodding tag match. The match was doomed from the start when the fans chanted for tables and the wrestlers knew tables weren't on the menu. Nice win for LAX to retain the belts in a relatively-clean finish considering the context of TNA title matches. (*1/2)
Video package: Why Robert Roode belongs in the main event. ... Sit-down interview with Borash and Roode focused on Roode proving he's not a rookie. He has to prove he's a main eventer and for real.
In-ring: Borash led out Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed for the $25,000 challenge. Borash asked if there are any ladies in the Memphis area who would like to win the money tonight. Serena D, who was in blue jeans and a black top, walked by some intoxicated fans to say she's ready for the challenge because she's trained in MMA. Josie Robinson was the other potential challenger. Raisha pointed at Serena to take the challenge. Borash handed her the waiver and she signed.
4 -- Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG (w/Raisha Saeed) vs. SERENA D -- $25k challenge
Serena slowly slipped into the ring and teased a fighting stance. She tried to tackle Kong's legs, but no budge. Serena tried to hop on the back, but that was futile. Kong wanted to take the beating to the floor, so Kong whipped her head-first into the guardrail. She then pie-faced Robinson for good measure. Kong had enough and rolled Serena into the ring. She delivered the implant-buster and rolled her over for the easy pin. After the match, Kong walked over to Robinson, who wanted a piece of her.
WINNER: Kong in 3:00. (n/a)
5 -- Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG (w/Raisha Saeed) vs. Josie Robinson -- $25k challenge
After Josie signed the deal, she attacked Kong on the outside. Josie ducked and ran all the way back into the ring, which pumped up the crowd. Josie caught Kong coming into the ring, but Kong smacked her with the back-hand slap. Kong had enough of this and threw down the padded gloves before smacking Josie hard across the face again. She then finished off Josie with a big Awesome Bomb for the pin and the win. West: "She's a... pancake."
WINNER: Kong in 2:00. Give the fans a little tease and hope, then pull the rug out from under them. Good combo-segment to give Kong a showcase segment on the show. (n/a)
Stage: Eric Young walked out on stage with Kong and Raisha still in the ring. Young announced Elvis Pressley and West said he doesn't even know what to expect. Some skinny, cheap imitation Elvis walked out on stage and stood next to Young. Considering I just watched the WWE 24/7 deal on the worst wrestling characters of all time, I'm thinking Gobledygooker right about here. Fans hated this. Fake Elvis walked into the ring and asked Kong about visiting Graceland. Kong had enough of this and gave him an Awesomebomb. So, four weeks of these stupid videos with Eric Young leads to this. TNA, folks. (Note: Fake Elvis was played by former Deep South announcer Nigel Sherrod.)
Video package: Christian Cage. Lauren then did a sit-down interview with Christian about what he still has left to prove in TNA. Christian went philosophical, which had no place on a TNA show right after a Fake Elvis segment. He said he spent time getting his life back in order, and he realized at the end of the day he still loves being the measuring stick. Christian said his motivation is to have his name etched in the history books of this business as one of the very best. A bit pretentious, wouldn't you say?
Video package: They focused on the Lethal-Val wedding proposal and Sonjay Dutt not being particularly thrilled with Lethal getting married to his super-secret love interest, Val. The question: Happily Ever After?
Lethal Wedding: Your basic pastor was in the ring to commence the wedding ceremony. Ace Young walked out to boos. Crowd isn't thrilled with this so far. Kamala strutted out in a tuxedo while barefoot. Jake the Snake Roberts walked out in a tuxedo with that classic crooked walk. West said he cleans up pretty good. I'm not sure if Roberts is aware of where he is. Koko B. Ware then came out with Frankie the bird. Koko bypassed the ringside area and set up the perch in the ring for the bird. George the Animal Steele was announced next. He walked out a side entrance and barked at the camera. This music sucks.
Dave Penzer then announced Sonjay Dutt as the best man, who came to the ring with I believe Dixie Carter's assistant, who was the maid of honor. Dutt was in traditional Indian garb for the ceremony. Jay Lethal then walked out in a sharp suit and he stared down Jake Roberts to make sure he wouldn't interfere with the snake in a bag. The music for the bride hit, and Lethal put his hand on his heart apparently for the National Anthem. So Cal Val then walked out in a formal wedding dress while West got lost reminiscing on his wedding day.
The pastor commenced the ceremony while Val did her fake tears. He asked if anyone has an objections, which was met by a few boos. Pastor asked Lethal if he accepts Val as his wife, and Lethal said yes. Val was asked, but Dutt interrupted and said this has gone on long enough. Dutt said he can't let this happen. He addressed Val that he's in love with her. Dutt said he's the man Val should be marrying tonight. Dutt got on one knee, but Lethal shoved him aside. Dutt then cracked Lethal over the back with a wedding prop and Val screamed before leaving the ring. Dutt laid out Ace Young, which popped the crowd, then Koko B. Ware took a licking. Kamala slowly made his way into the ring and attacked Dutt. In slow-motion, Kamala and Koko took apart Dutt. Like a good ring general, Koko called the spot in the ring.
Meanwhile, Val was in tears being taken away from the ring by the maid of honor. Suddenly, Jake Roberts went under the ring and grabbed a snake bag. Out came the yellow snake, which Roberts loosely draped onto Dutt, who had to sell a snake on his stomach. Steele then ate the turnbuckle while Dutt fell to the floor. Lethal screamed at Dutt, who backed up the entrance ramp. Roberts kinda held back Lethal, who screamed at Dutt while auditioning for a role in the re-birth of the Fantastics. Although the unintentional comedy kept this from being unbearable, it was just a bad, bad, bad segment that died slowly and painfully in front of the live audience.
Video package: They focused on Booker T for King of the Mountain. ... Borash brought in Booker T to talk about what makes him qualified for a title run. Booker said ratings are up, PPV buys are up, and more people are watching TNA than ever before. Um...sure. Booker said his locker room smells like elephant urine. He rhetorically asked Borash if he's ever smelled elephant urine, then he moved on to changing the face of TNA by becoming champion. Booker kept with TNA's motto to Keep Relevant by saying he left WWE to do bigger things. He said everyone will bow down before him as TNA World Champion.
Video package: They focused on the Styles vs. Angle feud going into tonight. Remember, Styles said he's not out to pin Angle, but to hurt him. ... In-ring: Angle came out with Tomko first, then A.J. Styles came out alone. It's been almost 90 minutes since that opening match gave this PPV such promise. Hebner then told Tomko to get lost before the opening bell sounded.
6 -- A.J. STYLES vs. KURT ANGLE (w/Tomko)
And so this grudge match that's supposed to be more personal than about winning a wrestling match started with a lock-up in center ring. They went into a series of wrestling holds with Styles getting the upperhand sending Angle to the floor to recover. Tomko talked strategy with Angle while Styles played to the crowd, which was back into the show for this match. After Angle gained the upper hand with help from Tomko, Earl Hebner had enough of Tomko and booted him from ringside.
Styles went for a big dive over the top rope to the floor and Angle ducked his neck - yes, the neck - directly into harm's way to break Styles's fall. Both men recovered on the floor, then they moved back into the ring. At 10:00, Angle came back with an overhead release suplex after opening up Styles's nose with a pretty good flow of blood. Angle tried a superplex, but Styles kinda countered in mid-air and kinda faceplanted Angle. Spot was just kinda off. Both men returned to their feet and traded the "boo and "yeah" right hand punches for Angle and Styles, respectively.
At 16:00, Angle struggled to make a cover on Styles. It appears to be half-selling the fatigue of a long match and half-selling recurring injuries. They did a close-up shot of the ring mat, which just looks torn up. Styles struggled to his feet at 18:00 and slipped out of the Olympic Slam into a DDT for a nearfall. Crowd was asleep until Angle teased the Anklelock, but Styles slipped out. Styles then popped the crowd with the classic back flip into reverse DDT for a nearfall. Styles followed with the Pele soccer kick and had a pin, but Angle grabbed the bottom rope to stop the count.
Styles had the Clash at 21:00, but Angle grabbed an ankle and slapped on the anklelock. As obvious as a red dot on a cashmere sweater, there was a ref bump when Hebner got right in the middle of the anklelock when Styles pushed Angle away. Hebner ate the mat, then Karen Angle walked out to ringside. Crowd went quiet in anticipation of a storyline twist. Karen teased giving Kurt the chair, but she pulled the chair away. Styles then grabbed Kurt and spun him around for the Styles Clash. He rolled Angle over and Hebner made the slow count for the win.
WINNER: Styles in 23:00. Fine spotlight singles match. Just a bit underwhelming when the expectations were reasonably high for two of TNA's best wrestlers in a featured singles match. I'll take this action any day of the week, but it was just missing something. Part of it was the lack of crowd response to the action, but it also seemed like the match just never moved out of second gear. If that meant trying to protect Kurt's health, then I'm fine with it. (***)
Post-match: Angle snuck into the celebration and smacked Styles across the back with the chair. Karen slapped Kurt, then Kurt teased a right hand blow, but Karen escaped and was held ringside. Tomko then stormed the ring and knocked around security. Angle slapped on the anklelock and made Styles scream while Tomko held off the referees. Crowd was library-quiet for the ending here. They showed Karen backing away from ringside while Tomko raised Kurt's hand in post-match victory.
Video package: They focused on Samoa Joe in action. ... Lauren brought in Joe for the pre-match interview. Joe said he plans to be the cure for some sort of sickness in wrestling. He said the warrior isn't rewarded anymore, but rather the opportunist. Joe gave himself the "out" if he loses to an opportunist/politician. Joe said the TNA fans are sick and tired of the politicians in wrestling and he is the man to cure this.
Video package: They focused on the King of the Mountain match history where the champion hasn't walked out still champion.
In-ring: Kevin Nash walked out to ringside dressed to wrestle as the special enforcer. They cut backstage to show Goldb...er...Rhino pounding his fist on the way to the ring. After Rhino came out, Robert Roode was shown walking backstage for the match. They repeated the backstage clip, video package, and ring entrance for Christian, Booker, then Joe. Nash and Joe had a staredown as Joe entered the ring. Borash then handled the formal ring intros for all five men in the ring. Really nice pre-match build-up.
7 -- TNA champion SAMOA JOE vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. BOOKER T vs. RHINO vs. ROBERT ROODE -- King of the Mountain match for the TNA Title -- Kevin Nash special enforcer
Early in the match, scary moment where Booker shoved Christian off the top rope and Christian fell awkwardly with one leg crashing onto the ring apron and the other leg wanting to land on the floor. Christian held his knee in pain while the action went on in the ring, but he was able to recover and re-enter the action at 5:00. Joe and Booker brawled ringside and Booker slammed Joe head-first into the announce table. Back in the ring, Booker grabbed Rhino and gave him the book-end. He covered Rhino for a pin, sending Rhino to the penalty box for two minutes and making Booker eligible to hang up the TNA Title belt.
Rhino's time expired at 10:00, then he stormed the ring where Christian was alone. They put aside their renewed friendship and battled in the ring. Rhino wanted the Gore, but Joe pulled him down and crotched him into the ringpost. Joe then flew over the top rope with a cannonball dive onto everyone except for Christian on the floor. Meanwhile, Christian climbed to the top of the penalty box and did a twisting dive onto the sea of humanity on the floor. The fans wanted tables about two hours earlier, but they got the tables here when Christian pulled out a table ringside. Christian brought a ladder into the ring, but Roode smacked a chair into the ladder, sending it into Christian's face. Roode then pinned Christian to become eligible and send Christian to the box. Rhino suddenly rolled up Roode for a pin to become eligible and send Roode to the box.
At 13:00, Joe and Booker picked up their feud in the ring. Meanwhile, Christian beat up Roode inside the box. That was fun. Christian's time expired and he climbed to the box again. He then hit a big frog splash onto both Booker and Joe while Joe had a choke hold locked in. Christian pinned Booker to become eligible and send Booker to the box. So, to recap, Joe is the only one not eligible thus far. Just slow-motion action going on here. Everybody worn out and crawling around the ring as they reached ten minutes to the top of the hour.
Booker then grabbed the title belt from Nash and smacked everyone in the face, including Nash. Booker surveyed the ladder and started to count to seven. He took forever to start climbing the ladder, then Nash stepped into the ring and took Booker off the ladder with a Jackknife powerbomb. Rhino then accidentally Gored Christian off the apron through the table on the floor. Roode had his chance to climb the ladder, but Joe gave him a Musclebuster off the ladder. Joe then pinned Roode at 19:00 to become eligible. In the first move with any speed in the entire match, Joe quickly scaled the ladder and hung the belt on the ladder.
WINNER: Joe in 20:00 to retain the TNA Title. An anticlimactic finish to a slow, plodding match. It was the right finish for Joe to retain the belt, but it just seemed like this match was put together in a rush without much focus on trying to create a dramatic spectacle main event. TNA showcased the X Division in the opening match, but they need more athleticism on the show to balance the slow, plodding former WWE heavyweight wrestlers in the main event slots. (**1/4)
After the match, Nash clapped it up for Joe, who held the TNA Title belt high in the air. Nash then stepped into the ring and extended a hand. Joe half-way shook Nash's hand with his body language showing indifference to Nash. Joe then stepped out of the ring and the show ended. ... Closing video package: They hyped the next PPV in July, Victory Road.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "TNA PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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