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TNA Slammiversary 2016 – Review

tna-slammiversary

TNA went through a reboot about 6 months back. To say the company is in a state of turmoil would be an understatement. The company has downsized its production and offices, pay checks are past due for production crew and staff, plus, nearly all of it’s big name talent has gone on to greener pastures. Despite all of this, TNA is still ticking. While consistently searching for new investors and possibly potential buyers. TNA is only running 2 PPV events a year, Slammiversary being one of them. The recent Hardy Boys angle and its reportedly “Dungeon of Doom” levels of cringe peaked my interest in the product once again. So dive in, and get rebooted with TNA Wrestling.

The show kicked off with a nice tribute and moment of silence by Jeremy Borash for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting.

Trevor Lee (c) vs Eddie Edwards vs DJZ vs Andrew Everett – X Division Championship

A nice opening match that reminded me of the X Division days of old. Apparently the division has had a severe lack of depth and apparently this is about the whole division, but good match nonetheless. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett are both very good and if TNA can put together some more talent they can be cornerstones of the division. Everett stills the spotlight with a corkscrew moonsault over the top rope to the outside early on. Eddie Edwards picks up the win with a quick roll up on Trevor Lee. Awesome opening match with quick action, even better seeing Eddie pick up the win and the title. Would love to see Eddie and Davey Richards go at it for the belt when Davey returns.

Winner: New X Division Champion Eddie Edwards

 Basile Baraka & Baron Dax w/ Al Snow vs. Grado & Mahabali Shera

This is actually the very first Grado match I have ever seen, and I don’t think it was a very good representation of his work. Pretty much felt like a random TV match. Al Snow’s French sympathizer gimmick is pretty not OK. Also I don’t think Al Snow should be on TV or PPV in any capacity in 2016 but I digress. The Tribunal win after interference from Snow.

Winners: Basile Baraka & Baron Dax

William “Don’t Call Me Billy” Corgan puts Gail Kim into the Knockouts Championship match after her scheduled opponent Maria is not cleared to compete. So its…

Jade (c) vs Sienna vs Gail Kim – Knockouts Championship

This match caught me by surprise as I was really impressed here. The Knockouts division was always a strong point in TNA for many years, and it looks like the current crop of talent is holding up well. Really good back and forth action between all three women, and all three can go. I was always sold on Gail Kim, but this was the first time I have seen Jade and Sienna in action. A returning Marti Bell shows up and takes out the champ with a cheap shot, and Sienna picks up the victory and the title. Really looking forward to watching Sienna in the future. Girl has a great look and from what I have seen can certainly go.

Winner: New Knockouts Champion Sienna

James Storm vs Braxton Sutter

Storm comes out to challenge the new comer Braxton Sutter to a match and give him an opportunity. I am still a James Storm fan after all these years and the dude can still have good matches, but this wasn’t anything special. Storm goes over the former Pepper Parks after a quick match. Hopefully this will actually lead to something, otherwise it was a waste putting Storm over a new hand in Sutter.

Winner: James Storm

Eli Drake (c) vs Bram – King of the Mountain Championship

Terrible name aside, it is good that TNA has a midcard title. It is even better that they put it on Eli Drake, the former Shaun Ricker. Eli Drake has talent for days and could be a main event player in TNA for a long time if they play their cards right. Why he is wasted in a feud with Bram is beyond me. These two had a decent little match but I don’t think anyone can get me interested in a Bram match, not even Eli Drake. Luckily, the right man goes over and retains his championship. That’s not an insult, that’s a fact of life.

Winner: Still King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake

Mike Bennett vs Ethan Carter III

One of the matches I was greatly looking forward to, and I wasn’t disappointed. I have always been a Bennett fan, even in his early ROH days, and ECIII always peaked my interest when TNA picked him up, but I never really got exposed to him as I wasn’t watching the product during his rise. What a terrific match. Great back and forth action between the two, plus having a pretty hot crowd that was actually invested helped out a lot. Both guys look like a million bucks, and have great chemistry in the ring. ECIII picks up the win after a great lengthy battle and three finishers.

Winner: Ethan Carter III

“Broken Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy – Full Metal Mayhem

I have to give props to the Hardy’s and TNA creative for getting me interested in another Hardy’s feud. The vignettes and commitment to character by Matt are impressive to say the least. The brother’s Hardy battled it out in TNA’s version of “TLC” and battled they did. Some pretty brutal spots throughout. Tables, Ladders, Chairs, Keyboards…Nice finish which saw Jeff Hardy perform a Swanton Bomb to the outside putting Matt through a table. Jeff goes over, which is the only thing I didn’t understand. Would have preferred if Matt would have won. Easier to continue the feud.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Decay (c) vs The Bromans – TNA Tag Team Championship

The Decay (Crazzy Steve/Abyss) are probably the coolest thing going in TNA today. Their valet Rosemary is excellent and the cherry on top is their entrance music, Marilyn Manson’s “The Nobodies.” This was easily one of the matches of the night. I didn’t expect much going in at all considering I have never seen a good match involving Robbie E and Jessie Godderz, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t a fun match. Really good involvement of both valets throughout the match and the finish was outstanding. Vicious chokeslam by Abyss and then he powerbombs Steve into Godderz to pick up the win. Decay is awesome, keep them going strong.

Winners: Still TNA Tag Team Champions Decay

Drew Galloway (c) vs Bobby Lashley – TNA World Championship

I wasn’t really sold on the “KO or Tapout” gimmick they had going into this match. I understand that it plays up Lashley’s MMA background, but still. Coming out of the match I feel that they handled it well, and both men worked a pretty hard hitting match that played into the concept. Great spots with Galloway hitting his finish early, going for the knockout. Also, a nice usage of submission from both men. Brutal “Celtic Cross” spot on the steps from Galloway, and then a lovely tope’ from Galloway as he crashes and burns over the top rope through a table on the outside. Lashley picks up the win after what felt like a legitimate fight, with a chokehold as Galloway passes out.

Winner: New TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley

TNA Slammiversary 2016 was simply a fun night of wrestling. It seemed that all talent involved wanted to have the best show possible. It got me interested in the product again, so it did its job. The main event scene is potentially stacked with Eli Drake, Galloway, Lashley, ECIII, and Bennett. Lashley is light years ahead of where he was in WWE and even when he first came to TNA, he seems to be hitting his stride.

Matches of the Night: ECIII vs Mike Bennett, followed closely by the Tag Title Match and the Main Event.

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