TNA Slammiversary Review
June 13, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Much like Impact the past couple of months Slammiversary was very inconsistent and up and down all night. It started really hot with the X-Division and then fell off a cliff with the next match and the next few matches after that going up and down before picking back up for the last four matches.
The show kicked off with a ridiculous X-Division Title 4-Way. If you read my Impact reviews every week you know that I have been damn near begging TNA for months to give the X-Division guys time in the ring. They gave them plenty of time tonight and it paid off with the best X-Division match since probably Slammiversary last year. I had some feed issues that really hampered the match for me but I was able to go back and watch the last few minutes and it was well worth it. All four guys busted their asses and pulled out some insane spots throughout the match. It’s crazy to me when a match full of high spots, dives, and high impact moves ends in something as simple as cradle, but it really worked here especially considering that very few have countered Lee’s Cradle Fisherman Buster before. They gave them around 15 minutes for the match but given even more it could have been that much better. It is a start but I want them to give these guys this much attention and more much more often.
The Tribunal vs. Shera and Grado was pretty bad. I mean Snow is whining about “real wrestling” and all of that and “old school wrestling” (and I would almost guarantee he was the agent for this match) yet they couldn’t even put together a coherent “hot tag spot” with Shera in the match. Why the hell were the heels working over Shera for most of the match anyway? He’s the bigger, stronger guy. It should have been Grado that was getting his ass kicked for the bulk of the match, especially since he can actually sell. The verdict is still out on The Tribunal because we need to see them against a decent tag team, but they did have a couple of cool double team moves at least.
I much prefer that they put Gail in the KO Title Match rather than Gail having to face Maria because that match would not have been very good. This match COULD have been better but they still put on a good match and one of the better Knockouts Match in recent months. They all worked hard and Gail and Jade both were able to put together some unique sequences. There were a couple of sloppy points but when they get more familiar with Sienna I’m sure it will get cleaned up. I don’t know how I feel about them putting the title on her this early though. They did that with Havok and she fell out of their favor for whatever reason pretty quickly (though she wasn’t given a whole lot decent to do her entire run).
Braxton Sutter’s gimmick of the “young yet veteran wrestler finally getting a shot but also being very nervous looking and confused” is weird as hell. The match itself was really solid but honestly should have been on Impact rather than on a PPV. Especially considering he put Storm over in the match. It looks like they may be heading towards a mentor-student dynamic between those two which would likely lead to a feud with one or the other turning. I’m fine with that because Storm is one of the better guys with midcard feuds.
Drake and Bram was also decent but not really much there or enough time for them to do much either. Drake’s character is turning goofier and goofier to me which is hard to understand. Bram was intense but he needed more time to really put together anything in the match.
EC3 and Bennett had a really good match, better than their first one, and they both busted their asses. There was a lot of high flying and hardcore stuff going on in other matches so they kept it very basic and simple, yet effective. Bennett and Maria doing everything to beat EC3 but EC3 still fighting through it all to finally get his redemption. I don’t have any problems with this match at all except for the fans sucking. I know the Impact Zone sucks in general most times anyway but they really blew hard tonight. They did get into down the stretch though and they got up for EC3’s entrance of all things.
Jeff and Matt had the wild, crazy TLC style match you would expect here. They broke out several unique spots that I really love to see when this type of match is done rather than the same old spots. The spot with the extension ladder was crazy as hell as was the finish and the use of the keyboard. These two are nuts so I didn’t expect anything less from them. The way they teased it at the end with Matt crawling to his feet and staring at Jeff led me to believe it isn’t over.
Decay and BroMans had a really fun tag team match, much better than the tag match earlier in the night thankfully, though it got a little out of hand towards the end with the screwy stuff. Still good action and the finish was great.
The Main Event was absolutely spectacular and beautifully brutal. Lashley and Drew flat out killed each other with some of those spots and they really told a great story with Drew refusing to tap out and Lashley pulling out all of his awesome submissions until finally Drew just passed out in the Arm Triangle. Now, they can come back with the rematch because Drew can say he still refused to tap out but they should definitely make him chase Lashley for a bit before they go back into it. Let thing simmer down and let Lashley take out a few challengers first while Drew has to work his way back to Lashley and finish it off at BFG. That was the best match of the year so far in TNA in my opinion, just great stuff.
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Galloway and Lashley’s pre-match promos
– Match of the Night: Lashley vs. Drew (****1/2)
– Dud of the Night: Shera & Grado vs. The Tribunal (1/2*)
– Overall Grade: B