Powell's TNA Slammiversary XI Preview and Predictions: Will Sting beat Bully Ray for the TNA Title or will this be his final title shot? Who will be the second TNA Hall of Fame inductee?
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TNA did a much better job of setting up Slammiversary than they did the Genesis and Lockdown pay-per-view events earlier this year. With the possible exception of the six-man tag match, everything was built toward in the storylines or feels like it has some purpose. The second TNA Hall of Famer will also be revealed on this show. My money is on the following candidates in this order: Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, or Hulk Hogan.
Bully Ray vs. Sting in a No Holds Barred match for the TNA Title: TNA saved this match for me by adding the stipulation that Sting will never be allowed to challenge for the title again if he fails to win this match. It gives the match a feeling of importance that was missing before it was announced. There's no reason for Sting to be in the title picture at this point in his career. He's the TNA version of Undertaker and should be treated as such with special matches that don't revolve around a World Title. Ray will have to work extra hard to make this a quality main event. I don't expect greatness, but I think they can have a quality brawl before Brooke Hogan helps her storyline husband win the match.
Prediction: Bully Ray retains the TNA Title.
Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles: I guess the idea is that the fans can choose which wrestler to cheer for. Here's hoping the Boston crowd fires up a "Let's Go Bruins" chant directed at the Pittsburgh native Angle. For what it's worth, I will be chanting this from my couch tonight following the shutout performance in Game One of what promises to be a hell of a series. What's to say that hasn't been said about the other 50,000 matches that Angle and Styles have worked together. We all know how good the match can be and a lively crowd could help make it feel special. Angle is pissed because Styles isn't pro-TNA. Styles is his own man. Hopefully that means there's not an Aces & 8's interruption coming and we just get a good, clean finish. If so, I'm going with the fresher act.
Prediction: A.J. Styles wins.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode vs. James Storm and Gunner in a four-way elimination match for the TNA Tag Titles: Storm will be limited at best by the abdominal injuries he is recovering from. My guess is The Cowboy will stand on the apron wearing a t-shirt just as he did on Thursday's television show, which his the right move as opposed to having him for it. I don't have a strong feeling about the outcome of this match. Three of these teams have traded the tag titles, and I don't think Storm and Gunner should become a regular tag act. In fact, I want to see them joined by Aries and Roode in the heavyweight division. Here's hoping the tag titles go to the best team - Bad Influence - and the singles wrestlers move on to the Bound For Glory Series.
Prediction: Daniels and Kazarian win the tag titles.
Devon vs. Joseph Park for the TNA TV Title: Does Park turn into Abyss and destroy Devon with a Black Hole Slam to win the match or does he have some sort of breakdown caused by his multiple personalities that leads to Devon escaping with The Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About? Um, who cares? Either way, enjoy the comedy stylings of Joseph Park. My guess is that he wins the strap here.
Prediction: Joseph Park wins the TNA TV Title.
Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide for the X Division Title: Wait, there's an Ultimate X match? TNA has really lost their way with this match. It's the best gimmick match the company has ever created, yet they don't treat it like a major happening any longer. Rather, it feels like any other TNA gimmick match that gets trotted out without much fanfare. I love a good Ultimate X match and it's been a long time since we've seen a truly memorable version of the match. It is a bit alarming that Sabin is coming back from two blown knees and is already competing in Ultimate X. Hopefully he will stay grounded and let the other two do the bulk of the high wire work. It was recently mentioned on TNA television that the X Division title holder will still be allowed to cash in the title in exchange for a TNA Title match even though Destination X is no longer a pay-per-view. Before that twist, I assumed TNA was building up for an eventual singles match between King and Sabin. Now I'm left wondering if Sabin wins the strap and cashes it in for a shot at Bully Ray. The problem is that it feels too soon for Sabin's sympathetic return story to play out. They haven't taken us on enough of a ride yet. This might be wishful thinking because I feel a title match is premature.
Prediction: Kenny King retains the X Division Title.
Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell in a Last Knockout Standing match: We seemed to learn on Impact this week that there can only be one Knockouts match on this pay-per-view. Kim has been working the figure four around the ring post for weeks now, so look for that to play into the finish somehow. Perhaps she gets a taste of her own medicine from the spunky Terrell.
Prediction: Taryn Terrell wins.
Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Magnus vs. DOC, Garett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco: It's Hardy's return match and he's teaming with a pair of strong TNA players, whereas it feels like Aces & 8's is rolling out it's junior varsity squad to team with the underutilized DOC. How about a Joe Muscle Buster into a Hardy Swanton?
Prediction: Hardy, Joe, and Magnus win.
Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw in the Gut Check Tournament Final with the winner advancing to the Bound For Glory Series: I believe there's more to do with the young babyface in the BFG Series than there is the rugged veteran heel Bradley. Shaw can lose the necessary matches in the series without losing much. Bradley is more ready for prime time, but I do worry that he'll get lose in the BFG Series and play jobber to the stars. Again, though, Bradley seems like he's more ready for the role, so I'll go with him.
Prediction: Jay Bradley wins the Gut Check tournament.
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