6/12 Powell’s TNA Slammiversary 2016: Drew Galloway vs. Lashley for the TNA Title, EC3 vs. Mike Bennett, Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy, Jade vs. Sienna for the TNA Knockouts Title

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By Jason Powell

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TNA Slammiversary 2016 
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

Slammiversary opened with Jeremy Borash standing in the ring and the wrestlers on the stage. Borash addressed the shootings in Orlando and asked fans to join them in a moment of silence… A video package showcases the top matches… Pay-per-view viewers awkwardly heard Borash plugging the Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy match for the live crowd before Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary, then a video package showcased the X Division Title match…

1. Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Andrew Everett vs. DJ Z in a four-way for the X-Division Title. Gregory Shane Helms walked out with Lee and Everett. Borash announced that Helms was banned from ringside by TNA officials due to past outside interference. Helms protested before heading to the back. Everett performed a wild springboard backflip off the top rope and onto all three men at ringside. Mathews sold the high spots by saying that he was losing his voice and it was only the opening match. After the usual X Division high spots and near falls, Edwards caught Lee in an inside cradle and pinned him clean to win the title…

Eddie Edwards defeated Trevor Lee, DJ Z, and Andrew Everett to win the X Division Title in 11:40.

Powell’s POV: This is the last non-singles match I want to see from the X Division for at least six months. There are plenty of things to like about TNA these days, but the positioning of the X Division is not one of them. It’s just lazy to throw out an X Division spot-fest in the opener. TNA has yet to explain who Trevor Lee is and why we should like or dislike him. It’s not like I know what they want me to think about the challengers either, but the least they could have done is establish the now former champion and what he’s all about. DJ Z is a freaking wrestling DJ. Are there any wrestlers who have been positioned as part time wrestlers and part time something else who have actually clicked? As is usually the case, the wrestlers involved in the match worked hard, but it’s time to make the X Division more than just opening match fodder. Edwards winning is a mild surprise because Davey Richards should return from a knee injury soon. I assumed they would add The Wolves to the thin tag division, but perhaps they will include him in the X Division with Edwards.

Separate shots aired of Lashley and Drew Galloway backstage…

Jeremy Borash interviewed EC3 backstage about his match with Mike Bennett. EC3 said he will culminate his road to redemption. He said Bennett is the first man to pin him, but Bennett’s win has already defeated Bennett. He said he will be coming after him with old testament vengeance…

Footage aired of Dixie Carter introducing Sting as the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2012. Mathews noted that they will be announcing the next inductee on Tuesday’s Impact Wrestling television show…

Powell’s POV: TNA announced on last week’s Impact that they would make the announcement on the “live” Impact on Tuesday. It’s a change from the way they have done it in the past, but it’s a nice hook for the live Impact.

Al Snow led the Tribunal to the ring and delivered an in-ring promo. Snow, wearing a France warmup jacket, said that just like Donald Trump will make America great again, his men will make wrestling great again starting tonight. Grado’s music interrupted him and he made his entrance…

2. Grado and Mahabali Shera vs. “The Tribunal” Basille Baracca and Baron Dax (w/Al Snow). Snow blew a whistle at ringside while his team worked over Shera to start the match. Shera went for a hot tag to Grado, who was pulled off the apron by Dax just as Shera dove for him. A short time later, the four wrestlers fought and Grado ended up shoving Shera to their corner so that he could exit the ring and tag in.

At 5:30, Snow stood on the apron and blew his whistle. Grado took it and blew it at Snow, who dropped off the apron. Grado turned into a double team move by The Tribunal, which led to a two count. At 6:55, Grado had Dax pinned, but Snow distracted the referee. Basile ran Shera into the ring post. The Tribunal performed a variation of the Demolition finisher and pinned Grado…

The Tribunal beat Grado and Mahabali Shera in 7:40.

Powell’s POV: If you happened to order this show because you heard or read my praise of  the Impact Wrestling television show being much improved in 2016, then you are probably questioning my sanity after the first couple matches. Again, the opener wasn’t a bad match, it’s just that TNA has treated the X Division horribly for so long that when you see a random four-way opener it just sends the message that nothing has changed. This tag match was undercard comedy fodder and it simply was not very entertaining.

Backstage, Braxton Sutter interrupted James Storm as he was delivering a promo. Storm stopped and shook Sutter’s hand and told him that he looked good in his first win. They clowned around a bit and then Storm asked him if he had a moment and took him away from the cameras to talk…

A video package set up the Gail Kim vs. Maria match…

Gail Kim made her entrance and then Maria and Allie made their entrance. Allie introduced Maria and spoke about how she deserved sympathy for her hand injury. Maria showed off her broken hand, which was in a brace, and said that while she wanted to kick Kim’s ass, the match was off because of her injury. Kim said Maria is a faker who talked herself out of the match before it even happened. Maria said she had proof of her broken hand. Kim spoke about her wounded knee and told her to get in the ring before she makes her.

Billy Corgan, who apparently now has his own music and video wall, walked out wearing a suit and shades. Corgan brought out Maria’s X-rays and said it’s true that Maria’s hand is broken. Corgan showed the X-rays on the big screen. Corgan said that when Maria is cleared to wrestle, Kim will get her match. Maria said her doctor said it will take a long time for her hand to recover and they may never wrestle. Corgan said it’s Slammiversary and the fans deserve something special, so he added Kim to the Knockouts Title match and said it would start immediately…

3. Jade vs. Sienna (w/Maria, Allie) vs. Gail Kim in a three-way for the TNA Knockouts Title match. Maria and Allie watched the match from the bottom of the entrance ramp. Jade performed a nice springboard DDT on Sienna for a two count at 5:30. A short time later, Allie broke up a Kim pin on Sienna. Kim left the ring and punched Allie, then went after Maria, who kicked her in the gut. Allie slid the title belt to Sienna. Marti Bell entered the ring with an object. Sienna swung the title belt at Marti, who ducked. Marti then struck Jade with the object and left the ring. Sienna covered Jade and got the win…

Sienna defeated Jade and Gail Kim in a three-way to win the TNA Knockouts Title in 7:40.

Powell’s POV: I was looking forward to both women’s matches. The addition of Kim to the title match wasn’t all that exciting, but they were in a tough spot with Maria’s injury occurring with so much television footage already in the can that it’s understandable. It works out in the sense that I felt it was too soon for Kim to get her hands on Maria in a match. It was also a positive because Kim is popular and the crowd got into the match in a way they may not have if it had been a singles match involving Jade and Sienna since they are still trying to establish both women. The match itself lacked drama because it was hard to care about which woman won the match. I guess the idea of the finish was that Sienna thought that Marti was there to help her former tag partner, so she was as surprised as anyone that she turned on her. Does anyone really care? That was a lazy Impact finish and turn on a pay-per-view, and it did nothing to make the new champion look good. The first hour has been disappointing, though I can’t say I am surprised given that it appeared to be a top heavy show on paper. Those top matches better deliver or it’s going to be a long night.

Backstage, Borash interviewed Lashley and emphasized that the main event can only be decided by knockout or tapout. Lashley spoke about how Galloway is entering his world now (due to his MMA background). Lashley told Borash to practice introducing him as the new champion. Borash didn’t do it enthusiastically enough, so Lashley grabbed him firmly and had him do it again…

James Storm drove the boozer cruiser to the ring and delivered an in-ring promo. Storm said this show is 14 years in the making and he has been at every one of them and has been in TNA since day one. Storm, who was dressed in his ring gear, said people told him he would never make it because he doesn’t walk a straight line. Storm said it’s because God gave him his life and he lives it the way he wants to.

Storm mentioned Orlando and the crowd erupted with an Orlando chant. Storm spoke about the talent backstage and how the fans didn’t know him 14 years ago, yet now they want to drink beer with him. Storm told Borash to introduce the man he was about to give an opportunity…

4. James Storm vs. Braxton Sutter. Sutter entered to a flat reaction. What’s worse is that he tried to work up the crowd and the only people cheering seemed to be the fans he was making eye contact with. Late in the match, Storm caught a charging Sutter with a Codebreaker. Storm followed up with the Last Call superkick and pinned Sutter clean. After the match, Storm gave Sutter a beer and they drank together…

James Storm beat Braxton Sutter in 6:45.

Powell’s POV: Ugh. It felt like creative wanted to get both guys on the show and booked them against one another in order to do so. The crowd hasn’t seen enough of the former Pepper Parks to care about him. Storm’s pre-match joking routine about Sutter making him seem old seemed to work against the idea is that Sutter is an older veteran. It wasn’t a big deal and this match didn’t really hurt Sutter, but it didn’t help either guy or the show either.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Eli Drake about his title defense against Bram. He said Bram is dangerous and intense who might put his life on the line to take the title away from him. Drake said Bram is a “crosseyed half-wit” and a dummy…

Footage aired of Dixie Carter introducing Kurt Angle as the second entrant into the TNA Hall of Fame…

5. Eli Drake vs. Bram for the King of the Mountain Championship. At 2:00, Drake tried to leave with the title belt. Bram ran after him and knocked him down on the stage, then held up the Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About. Bram, who wore a t-shirt, roughed up Drake at ringside and slammed his head into the ring steps. Bram pulled the ringside pads back and went for a move, but Drake reversed it into a backdrop onto the concrete at 4:30.

Bram came back with a powerbomb at 7:30. Bram followed up with his third “Brighter Side of Suffering” DDT of the match. Drake rolled to ringside. Bram rolled Drake back inside the ring, where Drake caught him with Blunt Force Trauma and pinned him…

Eli Drake beat Bram in 8:45 to retain the King of the Mountain Title.

Powell’s POV: Sold effort from the talent, but there was something missing from the match. I don’t think the crowd recognized Drake’s finisher. Hell, I didn’t either.

Backstage, Borash interviewed Mike Bennett and Maria. Bennett said he calls himself The Miracle because he’s the best wrestler on the planet, has the hottest wife, and has been the most dominant wrestler in TNA. Bennett said people compare him to EC3, but they are nothing alike. Bennett said EC3 has flaws. Bennett said he has travelled the world and won world titles everywhere. He boasted that he pinned the supposedly unbeatable EC3. Bennett said the fans won’t be chanting “trouble, trouble, trouble” they will be chanting “yes, we do”…

A video package set up the EC3 vs. Bennett match…

Powell’s POV: Please stop trying to define The Miracle name. I have really enjoyed Bennett in TNA now that he’s found himself, but the gimmick is better off being a name more than something that is defined since the definition is so wonky.

6. EC3 vs. “The Miracle” Mike Bennett (w/Maria). EC3 had some serious claw marks on his right pectoral muscle. An Evolve match or just a wild date? Anyway, after a slow start, Bennett performed a hangman’s DDT off the guardrail at ringside at 5:05.

At 9:55, EC3 hit his One Percenter finisher and went for a cover, but Bennett kicked out. EC3 went for a move on the apron. In an odd spot that the broadcast team didn’t seem to know how to explain live, EC3 took a face plant on the ring apron. The replay showed that Bennett held onto the ropes to cause EC3 bump, but Pope said it was hard to tell how got the worst of it.

Bennett caught EC3 coming off the ropes with a cutter for a two count. Moments later, Bennett low-lowed EC3 with a kick that the referee didn’t see. Bennett followed up with a piledriver for a two count. EC3 came back with three German suplexes and then hit the One Percenter and went for a cover.

In an awkward spot, the referee stopped to clear a chair from the ring that Maria slid in rather than count the pin. By the time he made the count, Bennett was able to kick out. Bennett hit his Miracle in Progress move onto the chair while the referee was talking to Maria at ringside. By the time the referee returned to the ring, EC3 was able to kick out.

Bennett went for a piledriver, but EC3 was dead weight. Bennett got cocky and slapped at Bennett. EC3 hoisted him up for a cutter and then hit the One Percenter and scored the clean pin…

EC3 defeated Mike Bennett in 15:00.

Powell’s POV: One of the best matches of the night thus far, yet completely underwhelming all at the same time. This has been one of my favorite feuds on TNA television this year. I was excited going into the match, but this just didn’t feel important once the bell rang, nor did the wrestlers deliver a memorable match. Nothing feels big time so far tonight.

Backstage, Broken Matt Hardy said Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy) has to pay for his sins against him. Matt said he has been Nero’s brain, heart, and soul. He said his survival means Nero’s total destruction. He said he will do it with a table, ladder, and chair, and will bludgeon him until he is no more and everyone realizes that he is the true face of Hardy…

A video package set up the Hardy vs. Hardy feud… Reby Hardy walked out with baby Maxel and introduced her husband, who entered to piano music and a rather flat reaction, then Jeff made his entrance…

7. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match. The wrestlers fought at ringside to start the match using the tables, ladders, and chairs as weapons. Jeff pulled out a giant ladder that was long enough to rest on the ropes of opposite sides of the ring. Jeff placed Matt on the ladder and performed a Swanton onto him for a two count.

Jeff went for another Swanton and Matt put his knees up around 7:40. At 11:05, Matt powerbombed Jeff onto a keyboard that had been set up over the ring apron and the barricade. The keyboard didn’t break, it just moved and Jeff landed hard. Matt covered him for two.

Matt set up a pair of tables on the floor and placed Jeff on top of them. Matt went back to the ring and climbed a ladder. Jeff recovered and fought Matt on top of the ladder, which tipped over in a planned spot, causing both wrestlers to bump into turnbuckles.

At 13:55, Jeff performed a Twist of Fate on Matt and then followed up with a Swanton for a two count. They fought at ringside and Jeff performed a Twist of Fate off the the apron and they crashed through one of the tables on the floor that were set up earlier. Jeff Placed matt onto the second table and then performed a Swanton Bomb off the top rope that drove Matt through the table. Jeff covered Matt and got the pin…

Jeff Hardy beat Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match in 16:00.

Powell’s POV: Another wild brawl from Jeff and Matt. I was really hoping that Matt would win the match and put an end to the Broken character. I enjoyed the I Quit match more, but this was still a wild brawl that lived up to the expectations they set with the madness that led up to it.

Decay delivered a promo backstage. Abyss once again said he’s beautiful. Crazzy Steve said the nightmares are real. Rosemary said Decay is ever changing. She said BroMans died a long time ago, but they can be killed again. They closed with the usual “decay, decay, decay” line…

8. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz (w/Raquel) for the TNA Tag Titles. The crowd was flat for the BroMans entrance and who can blame them? Rosemary entered the ring after BroMans got off to a fast start. Jessie picked her up and press slammed her onto Abyss and Steve at ringside. Jessie went for a springboard move on Abyss, but Steve caught him from behind and tripped him up, then slid him inside for Abyss to work over.

Later, Rosemary tried to spit mist into the face of Robbie, but he ducked and Abyss took it. Abyss mistakenly chokeslammed Steve. No one seemed to care. BroMans hit the Hart Attack Clothesline and then Jessie placed Steve in the Boston Crab. The fans woke up a little. Abyss pulled the referee to ringside. Abyss tried to spit mist into the eyes of Robbie, who ducked. The referee took the mist instead and was out when Steve tapped to the Boston Crap. Raquel entered the ring and attacked Rosemary for a minor pop.

Steve struck Jessie with one of the tag belts, but only got a two count. Steve went up top, but Jessie shoved him off. Jessie placed Steve in the Boston Crab again. Abyss grabbed Jessie by the throat and went for a chokeslam, but Jessie got away. Abyss ended up performing a Blackhole Slam on Jessie, then powerbombed his partner onto Jessie, and Steve got the win by pinfall…

Decay beat BroMans to retain the TNA Tag Titles in 9:30.

Powell’s POV: The fans just don’t care about BroMans. The in-ring action was solid, but the live crowd rarely seemed engaged. They need to go back to the drawing board with BroMans. The name, the gimmick, and everything about it needs to be reconsidered rather than force fed to viewers. Both men have talent, but the overhauled gimmick they came up with is going nowhere.

Backstage, Borash interviewed Drew Galloway, who spoke about how hard he worked to become TNA Champion and he said he won’t let it slip away. He said he won’t quit, so Lashley is going to have to knock him out… Ring entrances for the main event took place. Jeremy Boash delivered the in-ring introductions for the championship match…

9. Drew Galloway vs. Lashley for the TNA Title in a match that can be won only by knockout or submission. The bell rang to start the match and Galloway immediately caught Lashley with a Claymore Kick. Lashley came right back with a submission hold that Galloway broke by reaching the ropes. Lashley clotheslined Galloway to the floor.

Later, Galloway tuned up the band and hit another Claymore Kick at 8:35. Lashley got to his feet. Galloway charged, but Lashley met him with an elbow. Galloway came right back, but Lashley speared him while Pope said it was a desperation move by Lashley.

At 11:15, Galloway performed a Celtic Cross onto the ring steps. Galloway followed up with a Sharpshooter on the steps. Galloway released the hold and then blasted Lashley with another Claymore Kick on the floor. Galloway set up a table and placed Lashley on top of it on the floor. Galloway played to the crowd and then performed a running summersault dive over the top rope, but Lashley moved and Galloway crashed through the table.

Galloway got back to his feet when the referee counted to eight. Galloway’s forehead was bloody, but he immediately headbutted Lashley while standing on the ring apron. Galloway went for a move off the top rope, but Lashley caught his arm and put him in a submission hold. Galloway countered into a tombstone piledriver.

Galloway went to the corer and then went for another Claymore Kick, but Lashley avoided it and applied a submission hold. The referee raised Galloway’s arm and it was limp, so he gave the match to Lashley…

Lashley defeated Drew Galloway to win the TNA Title in 17:05.

Lashley celebrated with the title belt on the floor at ringside to close the show…

Powell’s POV: It wasn’t really a knockout or a tapout, but they gave us a clean finish with the heel winning via ref stoppage. The main event was the highlight of the night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save the show, though I’m not sure any match could have saved this show. The creative team can’t be blamed in that they delivered clean finishes. The undercard did not click, EC3 vs. Bennett didn’t live up to the hype, and there was never a big show atmosphere. It’s a shame because the television produce has been much improved this year, but there is obviously still work to be done when it comes to the undercard. Hopefully the tag division and the X Division will be in a better place by the time Bound For Glory takes place in October, as that can only help. I will have more to say later tonight in the member exclusive TNA Slammiversary audio review.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Brian Pillman Jr., who discusses his training, following his father's footsteps, his own career aspirations, being part of the Hart Foundation faction, his big match at the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view, working with Jushin Liger, touring the WWE Performance Center, and much more...


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