I have had a constant love/hate relationship with TNA since the early days of the company when it aired on Fox Sports Net. I immediately gravitated to the brand when I stumbled upon it in the programming guide one Friday afternoon after school. The combination of former WWE guys I hadn’t seen in years, the six sided ring, and these crazy X-Division guys grabbed my attention. I would continue to follow and stop following the company for years to come. I fell off a little bit after my initial discovery and didn’t pick back up until the Spike TV debut. I hung around for awhile, drifted away, but would pick back up when Bound For Glory was coming to Phoenix. The “Aces and Eights” era was the last time I really paid attention to story lines and week to week TV. The recent buzz behind the companies strong build to Slammiversary 2016 and the bizarre Hardy Boys arc has peaked my interest again. Slammiversary is the companies second premier event, behind Bound for Glory, and has had it’s fair share of memorable matches and moments, take a drip down memory lane as we get reacquainted with TNA Wrestling.
The 2006 edition are my first memories of Slammiversary, and from what I remember it was a pretty solid show. I remember a really good six man X Division elimination match, a nice No DQ tag match between the Dudley’s and the New Age Outlaws (sans those names), a great NWA Tag Team title match between AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels and America’s Most Wanted. I was a real AMW mark and totally forgot about their pairing with Gail Kim. The show also featured the traditional main event, the King of the Mountain match. The reverse ladder match was an interesting concept, but I never really got heavily invested in the gimmick. Christian was NWA champion going into the match up, and I remember heavily following the product when he came over from WWE.
I hardly remember anything from 2007, which based on the card isn’t surprising. I vividly remember Bob Backlund coming in though…and Rick Steiner tagging with Animal. The glory days. Future NXT Superstars Eric Young and Bobby Roode had a solid match, and King of the Mountain was entertaining featuring Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Christian, and Chris Harris. Who doesn’t belong? Also this amazing Johnny Cash inspired poster…
2008 had “Little Petey Pump” Petey Williams, Samoa Joe becoming the first man to retain the TNA Championship in the King of the Mountain match, and a great match between Kurt Angle and AJ Styles. It is also amazing to remember just how big and out of shape Bubba Ray Dudley was. The show also featured Awesome Kong destroying some “fans,” I was indeed a Kong mark. Also, who can forgot the legendary wrestling wedding of Jay Lethal and So Cal Val. All the memories come flooding back…
2009. I remember the X Division King of the Mountain match. The Monsters Ball match, and the end to Mick Foley’s “glorious” TNA World title run. Also, Christopher Daniels couldn’t even get a good match out of 2009 Shane Douglas. The Beautiful People were probably the greatest female faction ever, and Beer Money Inc. were easily the best TNA tag team ever.
2010 was getting into the Hogan era…but it still managed to remain heavily forgettable. I vividly remember watching this but remember absolutely nothing from it. I am sure Jay Lethal and AJ Styles had a good match. Angle and Kaz probably had a solid bout as well, but nothing stands out from this show what so ever. T Shirt Sting battled RVD, and a returning Jeff Jarrett cost Stinger the match…moving on.
The undercard of Slammiversary IX rings zero bells, BUT, the main events I remember pretty well. Bully Ray battled AJ Styles in a memorable Last Man Standing match, Mr. Anderson battled singlet Sting for the TNA Championship, and Kurt Angle beat Jeff Jarrett in the main event to become number 1 contender. I kind of recall this as a time that TNA was hitting its stride again, and the Jarrett/Angle feud was great.
The tenth anniversary show, despite having that awkward appearance by then current WWE superstar Christian, due to then TNA superstar Ric Flair appearing at WWE’s Hall of Fame, was still a good show. I remember the great X Division title match between Austin Aries and Samoa Joe, a great Tag Team title match featuring AJ Styles/Kurt Angle taking on Daniels and Kazarian, and a solid main event featuring champion Bobby Roode going over Sting. It would have been nice to see TNA take care of all these guys, but it is quite ironic that NXT has turned into the safehaven for cast off TNA guys.
2013, I was starting to fall off with TNA around this time. Some of these names I don’t even recognize. I remember the build to Sting vs Bully Ray for the TNA Championship, and another great match between AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, that’s about it though. I also can recall when they announced that they were going to Boston for that years PPV.
That about does it for my Slammiversary memories. Everything after 2013 gets real spotty. Safe to say I haven’t followed TNA in about 3 years. I am gonna take a chance on Slammiversary 2016 and see what happens. The company is completely different with most of the bigger names of yesteryear either retiring or moving to WWE, so I figure now is as good a time as any to see what’s going on.