TNA Slammiversary onsite report: The live crowd left disappointed by the Bobby Roode vs. Sting finish, live reaction notes for Christian, Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe, Sting's TNA Hall of Fame announcement
Dot Net reader Connor Gillaspia attended the TNA Slammiversary pay-per-view in Arlington, Texas and sent the following report.
I have never really cared too much for TNA and watch their shows rarely, but when I heard they were going to be in Arlington, my hometown, I figured "why not?" The tickets were only 10 bucks for the highest seats. That's cheaper than most Texas Ranger games, and TNA doesn't even come here often.
The new UTA arena is very impressive and fits a good amount of people in for its size. There were some issues with getting into the building for me and a handful of people because of the scanners, but that was the only problem I really had all night. The stage looked really cool, and there isn't a bad seat in the house. If I had seats as close as I was in the American Airlines Center for a WWE Raw, I probably would have spent hundreds. There was an issue, however. The sound quality was bad. I couldn't hear anything anyone said on the mic all night, but it wasn't too big of a deal.
Jeremy Borash came out for 20 minutes or so and introduced the announcers and rallied up the crowd a little bit. He said there were people walking around the arena handing out backstage passes to the loudest fans. I never saw anyone, but maybe we just weren't loud enough...
Hulk Hogan came out to one of the louder pops of the night. He doesn't look as dominant and iconic in person as he does on TV. Nowadays, he just looks beat up, and slow. Really slow.
On with the show, both Austin Aries and Samoa Joe got big pops. My opinion, that was match of the night. I started off rooting against Joe and cheering for Austin, but I found myself clapping and cheering on Joe's big spots. Aries was great also here, and they deserved the ovation that they got. I can't imagine why they didn't advertise a lot for this match. Both of these guys could shine in the spotlight of a major title.
I have no idea why Hernandez and Kid Kash wrestled on pay-per-view much less on television at all. I forgot they were still under contract. Regardless, the match was painless. They both got mild reactions, but Hernandez got the bigger pop. At least he didn't injure anyone.
The tag match with the Robbie's and Devon and Garett Bischoff was ho hum to me. Bischoff and Terry probably shouldn't ever be at the ring at the same time again, because they are both bad. The crowd let them know they were bad with some "You can't wrestle" and a couple "You F'd Up" chants. I was chanting for Devon. Also: What was with the dancing at the end? Whatever the case, I wish they'd Devon move on from all three of these men.
Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, and Jeff Hardy all got good ovations and cheers. This was just like the opening match with Joe and Aries where I could just kick back and enjoy what I was watching. There were different chants going on all match. A lot of cool spots, too. This was probably the third best match of the night.
Crimson got a lot of heat when he came out, but the crowd went nuts for James Storm. I didn't even see it coming, but, man, was it awesome! The match was a quick one, but Storm and Crimson still made it entertaining. The crowd in the lower sections were loving the post match celebration, but I would've hated being sticky with beer for the rest of the night. Still, the audience loved seeing Storm back in the picture.
Dixie Carter came out to a large reaction. I heard some "You screwed AJ" chants which I thought was amusing, but mostly loud cheers and "Thank you, Dixie" chants. Sting got the biggest reaction every time he was out there, and his introduction here was no exception. I thought it was funny because I saw an article Dot Net posted about how he hoped it would not be him, and his body language showed it a little when the video aired. The crowd cheered throughout the whole speech, and he got a well deserved ovation as he left with Dixie. Maybe he'll take the hint and retire now.
Miss Tessmacher got a big reaction being from Texas. I took a bathroom break, so I missed most of the match, but the audience seemed to be into her and the match. I did notice a lot of people buying her banner at the TNA Shop tables, though.
Bully Ray and Joseph Park were incredibly entertaining. It wasn't a good match in a sense of actual wrestling, but it was still fun to watch and interact with Bully Ray. When he was waiting for Park, a lot of "Yankees Suck" and "Let's Go Rangers" chants were yelled at him, and he responded to it well. My favorite part of the night was when he yelled, "Screw you, Texas!" at us and we came back with "New York Sucks." And the crowd really got behind Park every time he went on the offensive. The Park/Abyss "switch" under the ring was corny, but as a diehard Ranger fan and a major Yankee hater, this was the highlight of the show for me.
Christian got the biggest pop second to Sting. A lot of "Welcome Back" chants were shouted here. It was cool to see Christian for a split second, and I wish it would have been him to get the TNA Hall of Fame seeing how he is not an active wrestler in TNA and probably won't be again. It just makes Sting seem that much older to see him get the honor and all of the best of TNA moment. He does deserve it, but they could have waited until after he retired with the company.
The second best match of the night goes to AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Kazarian, and Daniels. The former champs got a lot of heat coming in first, and Styles and Angle got big reactions, too. There were a lot of awesome spots the crowd responded to and it seemed like they broke away from the casual tag team formula. I was very impressed by all four men playing their spots well, and the crowd popped big for the title change.
Coming into the night, I figured Bobby Roode and Sting would have the worst match on the main card due to some screwy finish or something or other. I was right, but I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I was going to be. The crowd loved the beating Bobby took in the match. The finish was awful though. Probably the main reason I quit watching TNA for so long was for matches like that. It left me and a lot of people in my section with a "That's it?" kind of feeling. However, they sent the crowd home happy. I'm not sure if they showed it on TV, but Sting spent five good minutes beating the hell out of Roode all over the arena. Sting celebrated in the ring afterwards and talked with some fans. Obviously this was his night.
It's hard to tell who got the loudest pop and jeers because the crowd was responsive all night. I was way more into this than I have ever been at a WWE Raw event. The match quality, for the most part, was very good. There were a lot of "This is wrestling" chants for good reason. It was just a lot of fun to be in a different kind of wrestling atmosphere like this one, and, at such a cheaper price, I definitely got my money's worth. I went into this with very low expectations and a feeling that their isn't anything to lose. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the product TNA displayed, and they have turned me to a fan that will now tune in regularly.
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