Today was one of the days where I was proud to call myself a wrestling fan. While the last few years have been disturbing for me, all that was overshadowed by three hours of pure entertainment and brutality. There are some events which really grind my gears, while some really make me enjoy the product, and Slammiversary XI was one of those events. It was one event which completely changed by perspective about wrestling, and TNA as a whole. While some ‘fans’ are still arguing why TNA is the dirt worst, I loved Slammiversary XI, and for those who haven’t watched the event, I highly recommend the event.
As a resident of India, I had to wake up at 3 AM on a Monday morning to watch this event. With no expectations and barely any history of the feuds, due to the fact that I just had my exams, I prepared my coffee and switched on my laptop. I opened the stream; and it’s not because I’m cheap, it’s just because I cannot get pay-per-views in India in any other form. The pay per view had to start at 5:30 AM for me, and I watched a few Before the Bell videos to get myself pumped up for the mega event. Some say that this event is the second mega-event for IMPACT, but for me, Slammiversary is the ‘WrestleMania’ of TNA.
Slammiversary is an amazing event and I love watching it. I started watching from Slammiversary V, and have never stopped watching since. It was 5:30, and I was ready to be entertained. I had no expectations however, and was watching this event with a fresh mind; tired of all the WWE drama. With a fresh mind and me being half-awake on a Monday morning, it was time for Slammiversary. For the official Slammiversary review, click here.
Starting off with the X Division match was wise strategy, since TNA’s X-Division is one of the strongest parts about their enterprise, and their matches always deliver. Chris Sabin becoming the new TNA X Division Champion is an excellent decision, and the match was great. An introductory match to the event, the X Division bout gave me hope, and it proved why TNA’s X Division was still the best part of their company. All hail Sabin! Now, however, I just want Alex Shelley to return so that we could get a Sabin vs Shelley feud. However, this match was the perfect opener, and made me smile.
For the next match, I’ll admit: I hate mega-tag team matches. The Shield has been an exception however in the WWE, while Aces and 8s haven’t been really that awe-inspiring in my eyes. However, this match entertained me and was worth watching. The most valuable player of this match, and from TNA, right now, is Mr Anderson. Seriously, how good is the self proclaimed Asshole? – starting from the attacks in the beginning to the war or words with Hogan to his lollipop sucking antics, Anderson has been impressing me weekly and is full of charisma, which is something you cannot learn. Mr Anderson deserves a championship currently, yet he’s perfect in his current role with the Aces and 8s. I have a feeling that he will be promoted by Bully Ray, however, that’s TNA’s decision. Mr Anderson has been doing his job well, and has earned quite a few fans from his Aces and 8s stint: one of them being me.
The Gut Check BFG Series match is something I wasn’t interested in, not because of TNA’s build-up, but because due to the lack of me watching their product, I didn’t know the prestige of the match and the skills of the competitors. Jay Bradley won the match and while the match was good, it wasn’t great. It didn’t hurt the pay-per-view, but was just an addition to the solid matches throughout the card.
The Devon-Park encounter was seemingly just to ignite the feud between Devon and Abyss, and TNA went with the right route, as Aces and 8s injured Park and Abyss ended up winning the championship. Devon and Abyss are two solid wrestlers who are athletic, and a feud between the monsters would be wonderful to witness. Aces and 8s lost another match, and the pressure was getting to them.
These few matches got me so pumped up that I expected so much more from the tag team title match, and it delivered. Gunner and James Storm were a team now, and I didn’t know how that happened, but they ended up winning the tag team championships which was refreshing, because Chavo/Hernandez, Dirty Heels and Bad Influence had already been champions, and this was another great bout. I still want Murphy to return, though.
The next match, the Knockouts match, usually meant ‘piss break’ to some. However, it meant ‘piss in the pants’ to me. One of, if not the, best matches of the night was presented to us by Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell. Taryn Terrell and Kim brought it to each other and simply put, it was better than Ryback facing John Cena. Let this thought rest in: two ladies gave us a better match than the top two stars of the WWE could give. Kudos to both these athletes, and I hope Taryn becomes the Knockouts Champion soon. One thing is for sure: Knockouts wrestling has massively improved, and bright things are in the future for both these ladies. Phew, what an intense fight!
First off, let me start off by saying that Kurt Angle’s Hall of Fame induction just doesn’t feel right. I know, I know…he’s a gold medalist and whatnot, but in my opinion, AJ Styles should have been in the Hall of Fame before Kurt Angle. I predicted Jeff Jarrett, but anyway, Kurt Angle is a legend in this business and I don’t mind him. It’s just that I didn’t expect him to be the inductee, and it’s shocking to see him get inducted before two of TNA’s oldest legends. However, he set all those criticisms to rest as he and AJ Styles tore the house down in an incredible match. The match ended with a roll up, which opens up opportunities for AJ Styles to complain. Styles isn’t confirmed to be a face or a heel yet, which is excellent.
The last match of the night left me dazed. Bully Ray claimed that he would end the match with the banned pile driver, and by god, Bully Ray took it to another level. TNA went more extreme at Slammiversary than the WWE went at Extreme Rules, and it was horrific, yet excellent to watch. Pile-drivers, finishers and weapons were commonly used and it added to the intensity of the match. Bully Ray retained and I was spellbound. I will say this, however: if this was Sting’s last match, then he went out with a bang. Thank you, Bully Ray, because you have proved that you’re the best heel in wrestling today.
For an event which I had no hopes, Slammiversary made me shed a tear for wrestling. If the worst thing, according to me, was just the induction of Kurt Angle, then that speaks a lot about the quality of the product.
Because of TNA and Slammiversary XI, I’m interested in wrestling. Gone are the days where I fast-forwarded all the matches and the promos, and watched an entire wrestling episode in literally minutes. I have been watching replays and have been reading reviews of the event ever since it got over. Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan have silenced everyone with this event, and I would like to thank them from our side.
Thank you, Slammiversary, for you have restored my faith in wrestling again.