TNA PPVs CALDWELL'S TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV RESULTS 6/12: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Sting vs. Anderson, Angle vs. Jarrett blow-off
Jun 12, 2011 - 9:50:34 PM
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TNA Slammiversary PPV Results
June 12, 2011
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Pre-show: Virtually the entire pre-show was focused on the Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett blow-off match. The final ten minutes focused on the Sting vs. Mr. Anderson TNA World Title match.
TNA's live PPV began with a video package focused on Mr. Anderson's mockery of Sting the past few weeks leading to their PPV match tonight. Also focused on were the Mickie James-Angelina Love, Angle-Jarrett, and Styles-Ray feuds.
Impact Zone: After some rapid-fire camera shots panning the audience, they cut to Mike Tenay and Taz to discuss the top matches on the PPV. They're starting off the PPV tonight with a TNA Tag Title match. British Invasion were out first sporting matching blue and red outfits. Cue up the early "U-S-A" chants. Beer Money's music hit next and Robert Roode joined the announce position after handing over one of the tag belts to Alex Shelley to fill in for him. Roode hyped his injury angle, saying he's about 85 percent healthy.
1 -- TNA tag champion JAMES STORM & ALEX SHELLEY (w/tag champion Robert Roode) vs. BRITISH INVASION (DOUG WILLIAMS & BRUTUS MAGNUS) -- TNA Tag Title match
Roode admitted he's a little nervous about Storm and Shelley teaming together for only the second time, but he thinks they'll get it done. Storm and Shelley had good chemistry early on to create that story of working as a cohesive unit. Magnus then pulled Shelley to the floor, which led to the numbers game catching up to Shelley back in the ring. British Invasion slowed down the pace working over Shelley as Roode noted it sucks not being able to contribute or help his team in a competition. Nice work from Roode early on treating this match as a sporting event. Shelley eventually broke free and hot-tagged Storm, who came in strong on Williams. Magnus got some, too. Storm then back-dropped Magnus onto Williams before Shelley came flying through Storm's legs with a suicide dive on the floor.
Back in the ring, Storm brought Shelley in for a double suplex causing Magnus to thud onto Williams. Storm then pointed to Roode, who said he thinks he's needed. Roode stood up and did his end of the "Beer...Money" routine. All of that extracurricular activity allowed the British Invasion to recover. All four men were knocked down at this point. Storm wanted Eye of the Storm on Williams, but Williams slipped out. All four men became involved at this point. Storm eventually made a cover, but it was only good for a two count. Shelley and Storm suddenly had a miscommunication. Roode thought the belts were leaving, but Storm kicked out of a double-team maneuver to save the titles for now. Gun Money then regrouped and Shelley hit Sliced Bread #2 for Storm to score the pin for the win. Roode took a deep breath and said he might need a few of Storm's drinks after that close call. Afterward, Shelley and Storm celebrated with the tag titles.
WINNERS: Gun Money at 10:57 to retain the Tag Titles. Good start to the PPV presenting the match as a sporting event, although this match was missing Roode, who typically guides Beer Money's matches and creates a nice flow. This one was missing some flow in the second-half after a nice start. There just seemed to be something off with the sequence of moves leading to the finish. (**1/4)
Earlier today: Jeff Jarrett was shown arriving at the building. Jeff took a deep breath to sell the significance of the events tonight. Kurt Angle was shown arriving next.
Backstage: Scott Steiner was shown pumping iron. He did the promo about having the biggest muscles, which gives him an advantage over Matt Morgan. Steiner then vowed to take Morgan's girlfriend to show her what it's like to be with a real man. Cue up Steiner's theme music to bring him out for the second match on the show. I thought this would be higher on the card, although there was no focus on this match on the Impact leading to the PPV. Matt Morgan was out next to face Steiner. Tenay talked up their sports backgrounds as the talking point for this match.
2 -- MATT MORGAN vs. SCOTT STEINER
The bell sounded and Steiner began talking trash to Morgan, who paced around the ring. Morgan eventually grabbed a headlock before running over Steiner. Morgan followed with a leaping smash as Steiner was draped across the top rope. On the floor, Morgan rammed Steiner back-first into the ring apron. Morgan called for a chokeslam, but Steiner grabbed the ref to be able to land a mule kick behind the ref's back. Steiner began working over Morgan after taking him off his feet and talked trash to the fans while executing his attack. Steiner then stood up Morgan in the corner and landed a series of chops before putting Morgan back on the mat.
Morgan made his comeback at 5:30 and landed a running clothesline, then a second. Morgan followed with a unique sit-out slam driving Steiner's head into the mat, but it was only good for a two count. Steiner then came back with a belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall, but Morgan fired back with a discus clothesline for a close two count of his own. Steiner cut off Morgan again and applied the Steiner Recliner, but Morgan slipped underneath and lifted Steiner up in the air in an impressive electric chair, but Steiner fluidly countered into a victory roll for a nearfall. Morgan and Steiner then blocked and countered trademark moves before Morgan boxed Steiner's ears and landed the Carbon Footprint for the pin and the win. Post-match: they cut to a shot of Morgan's wife ringside as Morgan celebrated the win. Morgan then shared a hug & kiss with his wife on the way out of the ring.
WINNER: Morgan at 9:20. Good finish after an okay middle part of the match. When you get two heavyweights in there, you'd like to see more stand-up fighting rather than a sequence of moves looking like mid-sized wrestlers. It will be interesting to see where they go from here with Morgan after a likely blow-off victory over Steiner. (*3/4)
Backstage: Borash was with Jarrett to talk about old times as TNA Originals. Borash asked Jarrett if he ever imagined nine years later facing Kurt Angle. Jarrett said he's already taken Angle's wife and tonight, it's about two things. #1 is becoming #1 contender, which has been on the backburner, and #2 is taking Angle's gold medal. Jarrett vowed to stand on a podium just like Atlanta in 1996 this Thursday on Impact and have Angle put the gold medal around his neck. Jeff dedicated tonight's victory to Karen, who he said was watching at home.
Impact Zone: Kazarian was the first man out for the X Division/Xtreme Title match. Brian Kendrick was out next looking more serious than in past matches. Abyss was out last and Tenay noted Abyss re-named the title the Xtreme Title, but Hemme announced this as an X Division Title match.
3 -- X Division champion ABYSS vs. KAZARIAN vs. BRIAN KENDRICK -- three-way match for the X Division Title
Abyss toyed with the challengers early in the match, easily discarding them to the outside. Early on, the announcers sold this as a handicap match with the faux story of Kendrick and Kazarian fighting for the X Division. The challengers eventually turned the tables on Abyss and knocked him to the outside before double-teaming him back in the ring. Abyss then dropped Kendrick with a Black Hole Slam out of nowhere and Kazarian broke up a pin attempt. Abyss took control, though, and resumed toying with the challengers, who were positioned as very weak compared to the larger Abyss.
Kazarian spent a long time recovering on the outside, which allowed him to re-enter the ring with some energy to land some high-flying offense on Abyss. Kendrick capped off his attack with a Tornado DDT, but Abyss kicked out of a pin attempt. Abyss had enough and drove Kendrick into the mat with a super chokeslam, but Kazarian took down Abyss with a flying head scissors. For some reason, Kazarian and Kendrick tried to pin Abyss simultaneously, but Abyss shoved both men away.
Finally, Kendrick and Kazarian came to blows 10:30 into the match. With Abyss on the floor, they had a mid-ring exchange. Kazarian then played to the crowd and lost an opportunity to work on Kendrick, who recovered and landed a flying dropkick. Abyss yanked Kendrick to the floor, though, and re-entered the ring to pin Kazarian to retain the X Title.
WINNER: Abyss at 12:05 to retain the X Title. A slow-paced match mixing the wrong pieces together in the ring. The booking fell apart based on that faux "protect the X Division" storyline. Abyss became the sympathetic figure fighting two-on-one odds against two wrestlers who weren't even competing to win, but to "help each other" for the first 10:30 of the match. No one wants to root for so-called babyfaces who aren't even trying to win. The sooner they get away from this X Division storyline and re-focus on wrestlers competing against each other, the better. (*3/4)
Impact Zone: After a video package highlighted the Samoa Joe vs. Crimson "streak" feud and recent bar fight angle, Samoa Joe came out first. Crimson was initially more interested in posing rather than trying to tear Joe apart after the bar fight, but then Crimson changed the tone and charged the ring to attack Joe to start the match.
4 -- SAMOA JOE vs. CRIMSON
Crimson took it to Joe early on before Joe came back with a Dragonscrew leg whip targeting the knee. The crowd tried a dueling chant, but the pro-Joe chants quickly won out despite Joe playing the default heel. Crimson then tried a comeback with some basic-looking right hands before Joe caught him in mid-air for a knee drop. Joe followed with a spinning toehold continuing to focus on Crimson's left knee. Crimson followed with a desperation t-bone suplex before easily recovering to his feet to execute a double-arm DDT for a two count.
Crimson appeared to be moving in slow-motion trying to follow up and Joe capitalized with a suplex. The announcers noted Crimson was "running on fumes" at this point 6:30 into the match. Joe then followed with a trademark powerbomb into a single-leg crab, which Crimson escaped by grabbing the bottom rope. Crimson recovered moments later and slapped Joe around before landing a desperation spear that put both men on the mat.
The two men recovered to their feet at an eight count and started trading blows. Crimson ducked Joe, who then opened him up to deliver a hard chop to the chest. Joe wanted the Musclebuster, but Crimson escaped. Joe followed with a sleeperhold attempt that Crimson escaped by ramming Joe into the corner. Joe tried to run out of the corner, but Crimson hit a sit-out slam and it was good for the win. Post-match: Crimson caught his breath as Joe conversed with the referee about his three count. After a replay, they came back to the ring showing Joe and Crimson face-to-face. Joe extended his hand and Crimson shook. Joe then pulled him back in and mouthed he'll get him next time.
WINNER: Crimson at 10:33. Okay at times having that stand-up fight Steiner and Morgan could have had, but Crimson seems to have regressed in the ring. Or, perhaps he wasn't prepared to wrestle more than a five-minute TV match with a big opponent like Joe. Overall, there were times when Crimson seemed to be having a recital or performance rather than selling a simulated fight. (**)
QUICK THOUGHT: Four matches in, TNA is doing a much better job than usual presenting the action as a sport rather than something for the announcers to mock at times. The issue so far is the audience hasn't quite invested and there hasn't been a standout match yet.
Backstage: Winter and Zombie Angelina had a promo. Angelina snapped out of her trance and noted to Winter that it took her a while, but she understands now.
5 -- Knockouts champion MICKIE JAMES vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/Winter) -- Knockouts Title match
Angelina dominated the action early on and Winter became involved two minutes into the match helping Angelina retain control. Mickie made a spirited comeback at 4:00 and Winter continued to get involved by helping Angelina or trying to hurt Mickie. Old man Hebner eventually got wind of Winter's involvement and reprimanded her. With Winter neutralized, Mickie tried a swinging DDT that wasn't executed smoothly, but was good for the win. Post-match: Winter and Angelina tried to choke the life out of Mickie out of frustration.
WINNER: Mickie at 8:00 to retain the Knockouts Title. This was like the X Division match with the champion having to work against a two-on-one situation throughout the match. (*1/2)
Backstage: Bully Ray was interviewed by Borash, who Ray tried to cut down to size. Ray said he's a real man in a real man's business. He said A.J. Styles is a boy he could take out just like that. Ray apologized to himself for not getting rid of Styles a long time ago.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray was out first and he tried terrorizing So Cal Val, then ring announcer Christy Hemme. Poor Christy was so flustered that she announced Styles from Gainesville, Fla. instead of Georgia. Apparently she was watching the College World Series earlier in the day. Taz and Tenay corrected the geographic slip as Styles made his way to the ring.
6 -- A.J. STYLES vs. BULLY RAY -- Last Man Standing match
The bell sounded and the two men came face-to-face for a staredown. Ray talked some trash, so Styles popped him with a blast to the face. Styles lit up Ray, then declared this is his house. Styles tried a clothesline over the top rope, but Ray blocked and landed a big shoulder block to deck Styles. Styles and Ray began trading blows and control in each corner of the ring to establish the physicality of the match-up. The action moved to the floor at 5:00 with Ray in control. Ray smashed Styles across the ring steps before standing on the steps to try to trap Styles underneath.
Ray continued the methodical attack by dragging Styles into the ring to inflict more punishment. Styles did the Dreamer routine telling Ray he wants another one. Ray landed another open-hand chop that floored Styles. Styles then recovered in the opposite corner and demanded Ray's best shot. Ray followed with a right hand that decked Styles, who sold by bending underneath his body. Styles finally found some offense as Tenay said it was like Styles was growing up before their eyes. Styles then took Ray up-top and landed ten punches, but Ray came back with a top-rope sit-out powerbomb that put both men on the mat.
The match then moved to the floor, where Ray pulled out a chain, but Styles turned the tables and Ray came up bleeding from the forehead. Back in the ring, Styles landed a sick springboard 450 splash on a blood-soaked Ray. Ray sold being out of it and made it to his feet just in time at a nine count. Styles then dumped Ray over the top rope and took out the cameraman in the process. At 15:00, Styles tried to follow up, but Ray back-dropped Styles on the floor.
The match then moved up the ramp and Ray tossed Styles onto the stage. Ray surveyed the floor below and teased another powerbomb off the stage, but Styles slipped out and landed a Pele kick. Styles then punted Ray in the chest and Ray dropped down about two feet to the landing on the floor. For his next trick, Styles built some momentum and ran off the stage with a flying forearm smash that just did reach Ray to knock him to the floor. Ray avoided a ten count, so Styles set up a table on the floor.
Styles softened up Ray with a chair shot across the back, placed Ray across the table, climbed up the stage, surveyed another running dive, but then changed his mind. Styles climbed onto one of the Ultimate X-like trusses on the stage and kept climbing up the truss. Styles then looked down and dropped a super-elbow drop through Ray and the table that popped the crowd. After a pause, Styles made it to his feet at six, but Ray used his free leg to kick Styles in the back, which sent Styles crashing through the base of the stage. The ref reached nine, Ray pulled himself up, and the ref declared ten with Styles still stuck in the base of the stage.
Post-match: Ray instantly fell back down at what would have been eleven to sell the effects. Some people in the crowd chanted, "Bulls---," as Ray sold and Styles was tended to. Taz noted Ray was the last man standing for about a second. Officials and referees continued to check on both men as the announcers continued to talk about the physicality of the match. Ray had a faraway look in his eyes as he was tended to before they cut backstage.
WINNER: Bully Ray at 20:18. Strong, intense match based on the TV feud meant to elevate Styles. The even-steven finish was fine, as Ray winning seems to indicate the feud will continue until Styles gets the final victory. (***3/4)
Backstage: Borash brought in Mr. Anderson to talk about the TNA World Title match up next. Anderson said play time is over and said Borash needs to open his eyes, open his ears, and shut his mouth. Anderson, with possession of Borash's lips, said he could stand here and talk all day or let actions speak louder than words.
Video Package: Anderson stressed "thank God I'm an a-hole" throughout his pre-match Before the Bell comments, which could be foreshadowing of Ric Flair, who has notably called himself God on television, getting involved to help Anderson win. Or, it's just a red herring.
Impact Zone: Anderson was out first and stood on-stage to cut a promo. Anderson said he's going to outwrestle Sting in just a few moments. He also declared there will be a new World Hvt. champion by the end of the match. Fans were heard lightly booing. He said that new World champion will hail from...a few fans filled in the Green Bay, Wis. line as Anderson paused. Either the crowd is burnt out or they have no idea how to receive Anderson. Suddenly, Joker Sting snuck up behind Anderson and echoed Anderson's name to begin an attack on the stage. Taz said it looks like Sting is deranged now. Sting eventually knocked Anderson into the ring to officially start the match.
7 -- TNA World Hvt. champion STING vs. MR. ANDERSON -- TNA World Title match
The match didn't last very long in the ring, as Sting knocked Anderson out of the ring and took him over the guardrail to the people. Sting moved a fan wearing a Texans jersey out of the way before ramming Anderson into the base of the grandstands. Anderson then reversed a whip and sent Sting flying into the base. Sting absorbed the attack, then dragged Anderson up the steps of the grandstands into the crowd. Some poor tourists were getting more than they bargained for. Tenay noted the same talking point from Sting vs. RVD last month that the ref was giving them some leeway with the TNA Title on the line.
Sting took Anderson to the top of the Impact Zone, then back down the steps and over the guardrail. Anderson slowly rolled into the ring and Sting fired up the crowd before returning to the ring. Anderson caught Sting with a ringpost shot, though, to cut off Sting's momentum. And back to ringside they went. Back in the ring, Anderson eventually settled into a focused attack on Sting's left arm and shoulder to wear down the champ. Very slow pace as Anderson scored a few nearfalls here and there.
At 11:11, Sting teased a comeback trying to get some momentum. Sting then landed a knock-down right hand and did his trademark chest-pounding and howling to indicate he was refreshed. Sting landed a Scorpion Splash in the corner, then wanted the Scorpion Deathlock, but Eric Bischoff marched down to the ring. Sting scared him away, then missed with a Stinger Splash. Anderson followed with a rolling sentaun, but only scored a two count. Anderson and Sting traded nearfalls as the crowd sat quietly with Bischoff watching intently. Anderson then hit the Mic Check and scored a close two count that frustrated Anderson.
Anderson went up top looking for a sentaun, but Sting crotched him. Sting followed with a Stinger Splash into the Scorpion Death drop. Sting made a cover, but there was some confusion with Bischoff involved ringside and ref Jackson James kind of halting his count. Awkward attempt at a "controversial" non-finish. Next on the bizarre list was Anderson hitting a low-blow right in front of the referee. Anderson then dropped Sting with the Mic Check and scored a slow three count for the pin for the win. Anderson is the new champ. Taz said the finish was a bit wacky. They replayed the awkward non-finish and finish as the announcers asked for multiple angles of Bischoff tricking ref Jackson during the non-finish.
WINNER: Anderson at 15:52 to become new TNA World Hvt. champion. A highly anticlimactic finish that landed with a thud. It was your standard two-star performance from Anderson, who continues to fall short of proving WWE wrong. Meanwhile, Sting's title reign will be remembered for over-complicated booking, first-gear & slow-paced action, and so many awkward moments, teased finishes, and finishes. Perhaps most problematic is the lack of reaction for Anderson and even less reaction for the title change. This wasn't good. (*1/2)
Announcers: Tenay and Taz brought in Karen Angle "live via satellite" from the Jarrett Mansion. Karen sold a back injury and complained about no one in TNA really concerned about her health. Karen blamed Kurt for her injury and said she's under all kinds of therapy. Tenay snapped back that she's an "A1 ballbuster." Karen asked for him to repeat that and Tenay said they had to go, leaving Karen to rant & rave as they "cut her off."
8 -- KURT ANGLE vs. JEFF JARRETT -- #1 contender match to TNA World Title -- Angle's Olympic gold medal on the line
Borash handled formal ring intros for the main event. Early on, Angle stalked Jarrett, who played a cowardly heel, before Jarrett avoided a clothesline and back-dropped Angle to the floor. Jarrett capitalized by landing offense, backing away, landing offense, and backing away again to keep Angle on the defensive. Jarrett continued to frustrate Angle during the first ten minutes of the match as the crowd waited for something to get excited for.
Ref Brian Hebner was then bumped and he sold a knee injury, which the announcers referenced earlier in the show. Hebner sold he was shot in the knee and rolled to the outside as Jarrett landed a low blow, which meant nothing since Anderson landed a low blow right in front of the referee in the previous match and it was as legal as a suplex. Jarrett then grabbed a guitar from under the ring and cracked it over Angle's head. Jarrett called for a referee and ref Earl Hebner slowly made his way to the ring to get that cheap two count pop standard for Jeff Jarrett matches. Jarrett and Hebner argued, then Angle slowly got up behind Jarrett and rolled him up for a two count.
Angle advanced the match to the next chapter with successive German suplexes, but Jarrett kicked out of a pin attempt. Angle then took Jarrett up top and landed a leaping belly-to-belly suplex. Angle made a cover, but Jarrett did his classic shoulder roll to technically escape a three count. Jarrett followed with a top-rope Stroke for a close two count before applying the anklelock. Perhaps ref Brian Hebner really was shot in the knee, as he remained out of the picture. Angle eventually fought out of the anklelock before countering right into the anklelock. Jarrett fought the hold momentarily before tapping out with both hands center-ring. Angle wins and is the new #1 contender.
Post-match: Angle celebrated in the ring as Jarrett remained face-down on the mat. Tenay went to a video package of the Final Battle before they cut back to Angle celebrating on the stage. In the ring, Jarrett rolled onto his back and sold the effects of the anklelock. Tenay thanked everyone for tuning in and signed off with a final look at Jarrett in the ring.
WINNER: Angle at 17:42 via submission to become #1 contender. Decent PPV main event with limited bag-of-tricks, but still enough to be eye-rolling, especially following the Sting-Anderson match. Overall, this was fine, but you wonder what TNA could be producing in this slot if the likes of Sting, Jarrett, and Bischoff weren't involved in the top two matches of a wrestling PPV in the year 2011. For a "signature anniversary event," the final two matches reinforced that TNA seems to be stuck in the early 2000s. (**3/4)
FINAL THOUGHTS: After an above-average undercard, the show peaked with the Ray-Styles match before the letdown TNA Title match and a decent, but not spectacular main event. Besides booking issues, which weren't as prevalent this month, one of the key issues remains a dead crowd. And it's not their fault. TNA reinforces on a weekly basis that wrestling doesn't matter, then asks the audience to invest in wrestling action for three hours and ten minutes at a time. Plus, the TV stories are generally so convoluted that the audience just picks their favorites and typically ignores whatever storyline TNA is trying to get across. Or, in the case of Mr. Anderson, the general audience is indifferent since they're unsure how to receive him.
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