Powell's TNA Slammiversary 2012 Preview and Predictions: Who will be the first TNA Hall of Famer? What is WWE star Christian's role? Will Sting become TNA Champion?
By Jason Powell
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Ten years of TNA? Ten years of swerves just for the sake of swerving, ref bumps, guitar shots, nonsensical booking, failure to develop new stars, multiple company names, bad pay-per-view buy rate rumors, missed opportunities, and downright disappointment. Okay, so nearly ten years. The product has been much better since last fall and last month's pay-per-view was a major improvement, so here's hoping that TNA is finally taking a step forward that won't result in two steps back. I'm more optimistic about that than I have been in a long time and the tag title match and the X Division match have the potential to be excellent.
Bobby Roode vs. Sting for the TNA World Championship: Sting has pinned Roode twice over the last two weeks in an effort to convince potential buyers that he's on the verge of capturing the TNA Title. Unfortunately, they've taken a step back when it comes to building up Roode as a credible heel champion who can actually defeat top babyfaces without cheating. Roode should get the win back here, and then we can only hope that TNA will play it up in a huge way so that the larger television audience starts to see him as a credible champion. Follow that up with a clean win over the winner of the three-way match and it would do wonders for Roode.
Prediction: Bobby Roode retains the TNA Title.
TNA Hall of Fame: I know some of you suspect that Christian will the Hall of Famer. It would be ridiculous for TNA to make the current Intercontinental Champion their first Hall of Fame inductee considering he was only with the company for three years. However, I suspect that Christian will be handling the announcement or induction of the first TNA Hall of Famer. Sting has already stated that he doesn't want it and feels there are others more worthy than he is. A.J. Styles would be an odd choice right now if only due to the Dixie Carter storyline. I'm not saying they can't do it, but I would hate to see them turn their first Hall of Fame announcement into storyline fodder for Daniels and Kazarian to pick apart. Christian has history with Kurt Angle in both companies and seems like a good fit to make the Hall of Fame announcement. Whether it's tonight or in the near future, I assume Jeff Jarrett returns and feuds with the first Hall of Famer.
Christian announces that Kurt Angle is the first TNA Hall of Famer inductee.
Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Ken Anderson to earn a TNA Title show on Thursday: I get the feeling that creative doesn't know what to do with two of these wrestlers. One will get a title match on Thursday's live edition of Impact, and perhaps the other two will feud. I give them credit for coming up with something to make this otherwise throwaway match seem important. The ratings for the live shows have been disappointing, so my best guess is that Hardy wins the match and they try to pop a rating with Roode vs. Hardy on Thursday.
Jeff Hardy wins.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles for the TNA Tag Titles: Am I the only person who wishes this was a "Dixie Carter on a pole" match? Angle and Styles teaming has become an afterthought. I don't really recall an Angle babyface turn. It would be pretty cool if it turned out that he was actually aligned with Daniels and Kazarian, but that would create a three-on-one feud. Thus, I suspect Styles and Angle stay together and this becomes a summer tag feud. There's no reason to take the belts away from Daniels and Kazarian at this point.
Daniels and Kazarian retain the TNA Tag Titles.
Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher for the TNA Knockouts Championship: I'm happy to see TNA go back to this match. Brooke is the babyface to build around. As much as Kim's character has bored me, I don't feel this is the right time for a title change. Sure, it's on the big stage and would likely get a big rise out of the live crowd, but the timing doesn't feel right from the standpoint that they haven't built up to a Tessmacher win. If booked properly, I think they could create some interest in a title chase. Thus, I hope Kim retains, only to eventually drop the belt to Tessmacher. This one might be wishful thinking, as creative may want a title change on the show since this is one of the company's biggest annual events.
Gail Kim retains.
Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park: I assume this will be the night that TNA reveals Joseph Park and Abyss are the same person. I hope they have something clever in mind because Joseph is more entertaining than the played out Abyss character. Park has done a hell of a job with his performances. The amped up facial expressions became too much for me, but they've gotten more milage out of this than I expected. Meanwhile, I feel obligated to once again state that Bully Ray is the best heel in the business right now. Get ready for some hardcore.
Joseph Park/Abyss wins.
X Division Champion Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe: At last check, the X Division Title was not on the line. However, Joe is claiming that Aries is hiding behind weight limit rule, and one can only assume that the fighting champion won't stand for that. In other words, this could become a title match. If not, then I could see Joe going over to set up an actual title match between the two. If the title is on the line, then I see Aries retaining.
Aries leaves with the X Division Title.
Devon and Garett Bischoff vs. Robbie E. and Robbie T.: Is there something written into TNA's contract with some of these men that requires them to give us Devon vs. one of the Robbie's in some fashion on every pay-per-view event? I applaud TNA for scaling back on the Bischoff push. I don't have any problem with him working the undercard. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that we're about to see a Garett and Madison Rayne romance.
Devon and Garett win, but something happens to set up Devon vs. Garett in an upcoming TV Title match.
Crimson's open challenge: If TNA was ready to end the undefeated streak, this would be a good spot for James Storm to show up and superkick Crimson into the loss column. However, the winning streak is the crux of the Crimson character. He's been more entertaining as a heel and I would prefer to see them build to the moment when someone finally ends the streak rather than have him lose an unadvertised match. They haven't made a big fuss over this open challenge so perhaps it will be an undercard wrestler or a name from TNA past who comes in and ultimately loses.
Crimson extends his unbeaten streak.
Hernandez vs. Kid Kash: The Kash character was a blast and then TNA just stopped using him. Hernandez has been a huge disappointment ever since LAX broke up. The company even sent him to Mexico in hopes that he would become more of a Hispanic star. The problem is that he hasn't shown much improvement in the ring. TNA informed the world via press release that Hernandez was leading a cattle drive in Texas on Friday. If that can't propel him to victory then I don't know what will.
Hernandez uses the power of the cattle drive and wins with a Border Toss.
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