TNA Slammiversary XI
Aired live on pay-per-view
Boston, Massachusetts at Agganis Arena
The show opened with the original Total Nonstop Action opening and quickly shifted to an Aces & 8's video that focussed on Bully Ray... Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay and Taz checked in from ringside and also noted that Spanish and French broadcast teams that were also calling the action... Christy Hemme stood in the ring and introduced the Ultimate X match...
1. Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship. Tenay said this was the thirtieth Ultimate X match and the first time the match has been held at Slammiversary. Sabin and Suicide both went after King to start, but it quickly settled into every man for himself.
King caught Sabin with a high cradle suplex that popped the hot and impressive looking crowd. The announcers spoke of Sabin putting himself at risk by competing in an Ultimate X match shortly after returning from knee surgery. Tenay noted that Sabin competed in the first Ultimate X match back in 2003.
Sabin performed a tornado DDT on King and kicked Suicide in the same motion, then suplexed Suicide onto King. Sabin made the first play for the X Division Title belt, which was hanging above the ring on cables. Suicide cut off Sabin on the ropes, then King knocked Suicide off the top rope with a dropkick.
Suicide made the first wire climb at 6:30, but he was quickly pulled down by King, who caught him with a punch. Later, Suicide stopped Sabin on the ropes and dropped him with an electric chair. King ended up making his first play for the title belt and stopped to mock the crowd, which drew some boos.
Suicide pulled King down. Sabin caught Suicide with a kick. King caught Sabin with a kick. Suicide caught King with a running kick. The rapid fire action continued and the crowd gave them a loud TNA chant once it stopped briefly while the wrestlers sold the punishment.
Suicide had a flurry. He did the bit where he catches himself in between the top and second rope and dodged a charging Sabin. He eventually caught both opponents with a kick off the ring apron. The wrestlers struggled to set up a tower of doom spot. They eventually got there and it looked choreographed, but the live crowd gave them a faint TNA chant once they performed the big spot off the ropes at 12:15.
King and Suicide climbed the wires from opposite sides of the ring and met in the middle. King used his legs to tie himself up and he was able to knock Suicide down. Sabin quickly climbed the wire and met King in the middle. Sabin flung King to the mat and pulled down the title belt to win the match.
Chris Sabin defeated Kenny King and Suicide in an Ultimate X match in 13:30 to win the X Division Title.
Powell's POV: The beginning and middle of the match was entertaining, but the last part of the match starting with the tower of doom into the finish were flat. The crowd was happy to see Sabin win, yet they were much hotter earlier in the match than they were at the end. Sabin winning the title felt premature, but I assume they are setting up his moment to cash in the X Title for a shot at the TNA Title.
Sabin, who was a bloody mess afterward from a cut he suffered somewhere along the way, went to the stage. Hulk Hogan's music played. Hogan came out and raised Sabin's hand. Hogan had his burnt left hand heavily bandaged and the announcers chalked it up to "a recent accident."
Hogan said he wanted Sabin to hear his Boston maniacs. He spoke about Sabin being the future. He also said the X Division Champion will have a shot at the TNA Title this summer just as Austin Aries did at Destination X last year. Hogan said they would love Sabin to have a shot and he congratulated him. Sabin shook Hogan's hand and headed backstage.
Hogan headed to the ring and said it was time for Hulk Hogan business. He said Sabin was a great champion, but they needed to talk about what was happening at Slammiversary. The Aces & 8's theme interrupted Hogan. Mr. Anderson led Wes Brisco, and Garett Bischoff to the ring.
Anderson used a mocking Boston accent to say Hogan loves Boston and Boston loves Hogan. "That just tickles my giblets," Anderson said. He told Hogan that he's going to be taller because he will be standing on a mountain of TNA wrestlers later in the show. Hogan said Anderson forgot that he was in Boston. He said no one in Boston is afraid of ghosts, terrorists, or "three pussies wearing leather."
Hogan told Garett to shut up. He told Garett that he's a bitch and his old man is a bitch. Hogan said Sting is going to punk out Bully Ray and bring the power back to TNA. Hogan said that since he's the general manager and "you three are foaming at the crotch" they might as well get things started with a six-man. Hogan told Anderson he would be in the match and then went on to introduce their opponents individually...
Powell's POV: Hogan is working blue! The announcers even noted that it was Hulk Hogan uncensored. By the way, much like every wrestler who returns to TNA after a break, Jeff Hardy has grown a beard.
2. Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco in a six-man tag. Hardy did his usual pre-match routine by playing to the fans while standing on the ropes. Anderson attacked him from behind to start the match. Joe received a big pop when he tagged in for the first time and stomped on Bischoff in the corner.
Bischoff tried to come back with a dive off the second ropes, but Joe kept his cool and walked out of the way. Magnus checked in and performed some tag moves with Joe. Tenay gushed over the progress that Magnus has made. Magnus ended up selling for the heels for the next few minutes.
Hardy took the tag from Magnus and went on an offensive run against the heel trio. Hardy caught Brisco with a Whisper in the Wind and got a two count that was broke up by Anderson. Hardy caught Brisco with a Twist of Fate and went to the ropes for his finisher, but Bischoff tripped him up.
Garett mugged for the crowd and then turned around to take an elbow and a kick from Joe, followed by a top rope elbow drop from Magnus. Joe headbutted Anderson and caught him in a rear naked choke on the ramp. Brisco low-blowed Magnus, but Hardy performed a Swanton on Brisco and pinned him...
Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Magnus defeated Mr. Anderson, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco in 10:10.
Powell's POV: A live crowd pleasing six-man tag. It was pretty predictable as far as the outcome is concerned, but the live crowd liked all three babyfaces and was really into their offense. Joe was a lot of fun with his playful offense, which was perfect for this match. Granted, it's three TNA guys facing three Aces & 8's wrestlers so you'd think it would be more intense, but I don't have a problem with it because this was the Aces & 8's junior varsity team.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash said it's hard to believe it's been 11 years since they launched TNA. He said a gallon of gas cost $1.60, Kelly Clarkson won American Idol, and cell phones were only used to call people. Borash brought in Joseph Park, who cut a promo until he was attacked from behind by Devon and Knux. The announcers questioned how he would compete after the attack. Park held up a bloody towel and smeared blood on the wall with his hand...
Powell's POV: Cue Abyss.
3. Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw in the Gut Check tournament finals. The live crowd couldn't have cared less during the introductions. Shaw had a run on offense, but then ate a big clothesline from Bradley, who pinned him. Christy Hemme interviewed Bradley on the ramp briefly after the match...
Jay Bradley defeated Sam Shaw to earn a spot in the Bound For Glory Series.
Powell's POV: If this TNA thing doesn't work out for Bradley and Shaw, Spike TV could always give them guest appearances on "Tattoo Nightmares." The more polished worker won the match, but I fear that he'll be a glorified enhancement wrestler in the BFG Series.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and noted that they are the only team in the four-way elimination match that consists of two former TNA Champions. Roode reminded viewers and Aries that he was the longest reigning TNA Champion, then Aries reminded viewers and Roode that he took the title from him. Roode closed it out by telling James Storm that his new partner Gunner is no Bobby Roode...
A video package set up the TV Title match...
4. Devon (w/Knux) vs. Joseph Park for the TNA TV Title. Park didn't come out when he was introduced. Devon cut a promo about the Knicks beating the Celtics in the NBA playoffs. A "Let's Go Bruins" chant started. You're damn right! Devon told the referee to ring the bell, count to ten, and award him the match. The referee complied after Devon threatened him. The ref counted to ten and Devon was named the winner by count out...
Devon defeated Joseph Park by count out to retain the TNA TV Title.
After the match, Devon said he knew Park didn't have it in him just like his brother Abyss doesn't have it in him. Devon said that if Abyss was there he would tell the referee to ring the bell and whoop his ass. Moments later, Abyss's music played and he made his entrance. Abyss cleared Knux from the ring and the referee rang the bell to start the match...
5. Devon (w/Knux) vs. Abyss. Devon controlled the first three minutes of the match. Abyss made his comeback and caught Devon with a chokeslam. Devon caught Abyss with a kick and then flipped him off. Devon ran toward Abyss, who performed the Black Hole Slam and got the pin. The referee handed Abyss the title belt afterward...
Abyss defeated Devon in 3:45 to win the TNA TV Title (maybe).
Powell's POV: Taz protested Abyss winning the title on commentary. My guess is that Abyss doesn't get the title since Joseph Park was supposed to face Devon instead. It's a Dusty finish, only this time no one will care if they take the title change away.
A video recapped Sting beating Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory in 2007 to win the TNA Title... Taz continued to complain about the TV Title change. He said it was not an official match. Tenay said Abyss is the official TV Champion. The announcers set up the TNA Hall of Fame segment...
TNA president Dixie Carter made her entrance. She got the Sam Shaw pop. There was a brief "Thank you, Dixie" chant once she was in the ring. Dixie called for the wrestlers and staff to come out and stand on the stage. Dixie announced that Kurt Angle was the second member of the TNA Hall of Fame. Angle was all smiles as he walked to the ring and then hugged Dixie. An Angle video package aired.
Angle teared up once the video concluded. The announcers joined the wrestlers in giving him a standing ovation along with the wrestlers on the stage. A loud "Thank you, Angle" chant started. Dixie spoke about Angle winning the gold medal with a broken neck and then crossing the line and giving TNA hope that they would make it.
The fans gave Angle a great ovation when Carter gave him the mic. A USA chant started. Angle said he wasn't expecting it. He said he's had some awesome moments in Boston, but this has to be the best so far. Angle thanked his wife and children. Kurt thanked Dixie, Serge, and Dixie's parents for bringing him to TNA and making him love it again.
Angle said he's very humbled. Kurt said there are a lot of guys on the stage such as A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, and James Storm. He said TNA has the best roster in the world and they make him look good. Angle thanked Carter and TNA's "co-founder" Jeff Jarrett (Carter clapped). Angle thanked the fans for being TNA fans...
Powell's POV: Say what you will about TNA having a Hall of Fame or feeling that someone else should have been given the honor, Angle is certainly deserving. By the way, I don't have a problem with TNA starting their own Hall of Fame to honor people in their company after being in business for a decade. The live crowd
The announcers spoke at ringside and Taz said he was very happy for Angle. He said no one knew it was going to happen. Tenay said there could not have been a more deserving honoree...Another Sting title win video aired... Footage aired of Sting arriving at the building earlier in the day...
Backstage, Borash interviewed Bad Influence... A video set up the tag title match...
6. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. James Storm and Gunner in a four-way elimination match for the TNA Tag Titles. Storm didn't wear a t-shirt or have his hamstring wrapped like he did on the go-home edition of Impact. Chavo and Daniels started the match.
There was a brief power showdown between Gunner and Hernandez that ended when they were both kicked from behind by opponents. Hernandez performed a double backbreaker on Bad Influence. Storm got involved in the action by whipping one of his opponents and then taking shots from Daniels in the corner. The crowd cheered when Daniels and Kazarian played to them, then Chavo and Hernadnez did running dives at them.
Later, Hernandez performed a double suplex on Roode and Aries. Chavo took the hot tag from the weary Hernadnez. Chavo checked in with some faster than usual paced offense on Kazarian. Chavo performed Three Amigos on Kazarian. Daniels checked in and performed Angel's Wings on Chavo.
A short time later, Storm performed a Backstabber on Roode. Storm set up for the Last Call, but Daniels took one of tag belts and slammed it on Storm's knee. Hernandez ended up performing a great looking Border Toss on Kazarian. Chavo performed a Frogsplash. Daniels entered the ring and struck Chavo with a tag title belt and was disqualified. There were plenty of boos over Bad Influence being eliminated. As Daniels was leaving, Aries rolled up Chavo and pinned him.
The match came down to Roode and Aries vs. Storm and Gunner. Roode and Aries isolated Gunner while Storm continues to sell his knee injury at ringside. Gunner eventually no-sold for Aries. He crawled to his corner where Storm had recovered and was waiting for the tag, but Roode went over and pulled Storm down so he couldn't take the tag.
Storm eventually checked in and performed his usual offense, not showing any signs of having problems related to his abdominal surgery. Gunner catapulted Aries to Storm, who put him down with a DDT. Gunner went for the cover, but Roode broke it up. Gunner put Roode in the Gun (Torture) Rack, but Aries broke it up. Roode caught Gunner with a spinebuster, then Aries performed the 450 splash on Gunner, who kicked out of Austin's pin attempt.
Aries sold the kick out in a big way. Roode handed Aries one of the tag belts, but Storm caught Aries with a Codebreaker. Storm set up and hit the Last Call on Areis, then Gunner put Aries up in the Gun Rack. Aries apparently gave up as the the referee called for the bell to end the match...
James Storm and Gunner defeated Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, and Bad Influence in a four-way elimination match to win the TNA Tag Titles.
Powell's POV: I knew I was going to dislike the outcome once it came down to the two teams that are made up of singles wrestlers. Didn't Roode and Storm break up so they could both be singles wrestlers? Let's face it, Storm has been drifting along without purpose for months, so I guess this gives him something to do.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Brooke Hogan. It ended with Borash asking Brooke if she still loves Bully Ray. She said they would have to end the interview... A video set up the Knockouts match...
7. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockout Standing match. ODB was the referee. They worked intensely to start the match. Gail applied the figure four around the ring post and let it go around 5:00. Gail played to the crowd while ODB counted, but Taryn got back to her feet at seven. Gail charged at her. Taryn moved, and Gail crashed into a chair set up between the ropes and tumbled to the floor with a bump that made the live crowd gasp.
Gail got back to her feet and back inside the ring. Taryn applied the figure four on Gail around the ring post. Gail got back to her feet at eight. Taryn charged at her, Gail moved, and Taryn dove through the ropes and took a bump on the stage. The live crowd once again gasped.
Taryn got back to her feet, but Gail swept her legs out from under her. Once Taryn stood up, Kim went for a piledriver on the ramp, but Taryn fought out of it. Taryn bulldogged Kim off the ramp and onto the floor at ringside for a big "Holy Shit" chant followed by "This is Awesome" from the crowd. Taryn got back to her feet while Kim remained down for the ten count...
Taryn Terrell defeated Gail Kim in a Last Knockout Standing match in 9:20.
Powell's POV: Very hard work from both women. They took some big bumps and the crowd went from being casually interested early to being impressed by the physicality. The most entertaining Knockouts match in recent memory.
A video showed another one of Sting's TNA Title wins... A video package set up the A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle match...
Powell's POV: They have roughly 50 minutes remaining for the big two matches.
8. A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle. Styles had new music that fits the mood of his current character more than his usual music. Taz said Styles is a dead man for screwing Aces & 8's. Tenay recalled Styles and Angle teaming at last year's Slammiversary to defeat Bad Influence. Styles worked the match in a t-shirt that reads "No One."
Styles got the better of Angle early, then Kurt came back with a big back body drop. Styles recovered and targeted Kurt's bandaged left knee. Styles performed a springboard dropkick onto the knee. Styles applied a hold on the knee a short time later that Angle broke by reaching the ropes.
There were brief back and forth chants for both wrestlers. Angle caught Styles with a big clothesline at 7:00. Angle sold the knee as he struggled to get back to his feet. At 9:10, Angle caught Styles with a series of German suplexes. The crowd was kind of quiet aside from doing a "whoa" routine prior to Angle performing the suplexes.
At 10:55, Angle caught Styles on the top rope and performed a German suplex, but Styles landed on his feet. Angle quickly recovered and performed an overhead belly-to-belly that drove Styles into the corner. The crowd came to lie for those spots. At 12:20, Angle caught Styles with an Angle Slam for a two count that some fans were counting along with.
Angle pulled the straps of his singlet down and went for the ankle lock. Styles rolled through to escape it. Angle went for the ankle lock again, but Styles rolled through and applied his new finisher. Angle slipped out of it and applied the ankle lock again. Styles reached toward the ropes, but Kurt pulled him back tot he center of the ring and lied down. Styles kicked Angle repeatedly to free himself.
At 14:30, Angle missed a lunge in the corner. Styles placed him in the tree of woe and followed up with a big dropkick. A short time later, Styles missed a springboard move. Angle rolled up Styles for two. Kurt went for the Angle Slam, Styles avoided it, they jockeyed for position and Angle ended up mounting Styles with a double leg for a three count...
Kurt Angle pinned A.J. Styles in 15:40.
Powell's POV: The usual good match from Angle and Styles. I'm surprised to see Styles lose considering the freshness of his character. I'm curious to see whether there's a storyline reason for it. The crowd didn't have any reason to cheer for or against either wrestler, so they mostly sat back and cheered the moves that impressed them. They were quiet at times, but the wrestlers definitely had their attention.
The announcers spoke about the main event at ringside. The TNA poll was 64 percent in favor of Sting winning the TNA Title over Bully Ray...
Backstage, Bully Ray cut a promo with the TNA Championship over his shoulder. He said he's not sure Sting really thought about the No Holds Barred stipulation before his made it. Ray said No Holds Barred matches used to mean that certain moves that were banned were legal.
Ray said there's one move that wrestlers still stay away from because they know about the consequences. Ray said that move is the piledriver. Ray said that's the move he was going to beat Sting with. Ray said he's not going to break Sting's arm or his leg, he's going to break his neck... A video set up the main event...
Powell's POV: Finally, someone points out the silliness of the No Holds Barred stipulation (in his own way). Both WWE and TNA seem to hold No Holds Barred matches for no reasons since there are rarely moves that are banned per the storylines. Is there a difference between a No DQ match and a No Holds Barred match? I'm not even sure anymore.
Sting made his entrance to a strong ovation from the Boston crowd. Bully Ray made his entrance from the Aces & 8's entrance area and hugged Taz before getting into the ring. Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match...
9. Bully Ray vs. Sting in a No Holds Barred match for the TNA Title (if Sting loses he can't challenge for the TNA Title ever again). Sting attacked Ray right after the introductions to start the match. They went to ringside where Sting used the TNA Title as a weapon. If this were real, I'd say that's not a good omen. They fought back inside the ring and traded blows.
Sting got the better of the exchange. Sting had SoCal Val hand him the TNA Title belt, which he once again used as a weapon. Ray returned the favor when they ended up fighting at ringside again. Ray tore Sting's t-shirt and slammed down with a pair of big slaps to Sting's face. Ray whipped Sting into the ring steps at 3:30.
Bully knocked Sting down on the floor and then ran backstage. He returned with a chair. Um, okay. Ray swung and missed with the chair and hit the ring post instead. Sting grabbed the chair and gained control of the offense. Brooke Hogan walked out while Sting was slamming Ray with chair shots to the back on the ramp.
Sting told Brooke to go to the back. She complied. Sting went back to Ray and ate a low blow. Taz said it's a legal move in the No Holds Barred format. Back inside the ring, Ray struck Sting with several chair shots to the back and then kicked the chair into his face. Ray piledrove Sting and covered him, but Sting left his arm at the last moment.
Keneley tried to rationalize Sting kicking out of a piledriver by saying Ray telegraphed it so Sting was able to kick out. In other words, if you tell Keneley you're going to kick him in the balls and then do it, it shouldn't hurt as much. Anyway, a table was set up in the ring. Sting had Ray in the corner and fired shots at him, but Ray picked him up and powerbombed him through the table. Once again, Sting lifted his arm at the last moment.
At 9:40, Ray pulled out a knife!!! Yes, really!!! Ray used the knife to cut the ring apron loose. Ray pulled back the canvas and revealed the (he said) exposed wood. Ray piledrove Sting onto the exposed wood and covered him. Sting once again lifted his arm at the last second. Ray went for the move again, but Sting powered out. Sting went for a piledriver of his own, but Ray back body dropped him.
Ray went to the second rope and missed with a senton. Sting performed the Scorpion Death Drop on the exposed wood. Sting covered Ray and had him pinned, but DOC, Knux, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco hit the ring and broke up the pin. Sting ended up fighting off all four Aces & 8's members and clearing them from the ring. "How's he doing this?" Taz asked.
Sting beat on his chest and the crowd cheered. Devon threw a chain in the ring, but Sting caught it and hit Ray with it. Sting had Ray pinned, but Devon pulled the referee from the ring to break it up. Sting went to ringside and hit Devon with the chain. Mr. Anderson showed up at ringside and gave Bully Ray a hammer. Sting dove off the top rope and Ray struck him with the hammer and pinned him. Keneley played it up as the end of an era since Sting can't challenge for the TNA Title again...
Bully Ray defeated Sting in a No Holds Barred match to retain the TNA Title in 14:20.
Powell's POV: Wow, I didn't predict Aces & 8's interference because I thought TNA would work harder to come up with a finish than that. I guess the TNA wrestlers don't like Sting since none of them ran out to help even after every member of Aces & 8's interfered. Hell, they even stood over Sting and gloated to close the show for a couple minutes and still no one ran out. A weak finish to a crowd pleasing brawl.
Overall, this was an in the middle show for me. The crowd was big and vocal and the building was well lit. I may have scored this higher had it taken place a two or three years ago when TNA was delivering a lousy product, but right now this just felt like a par for the course show. There's only one TNA pay-per-view remaining in 2013. My guess is that A.J. Styles beats Kurt Angle in the final match of the Bound For Glory Series, which would explain his loss tonight, and challenges for the TNA Title in October.