PPV REPORTS TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV HOLT REPORT: Wilkenfeld's detailed full card report from inside the building
Jun 22, 2009 - 3:48:45 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
We drove down to Detroit for Slammiversary. It was wicked fun, but I do have a warning to all people seeing TNA live: when they say they'll take the loudest person from each section backstage, that's a damned dirty lie. My voice is still horse a day later, and I got nothing. Stupid TNA. I had the same issue the last time a TNA PPV came to Detroit, for BFG 2006. Incidentally, the difference between venues was like night and day—in 2006 it felt like we were in someone's garage. In The Palace it felt like we were at a real PPV. I think I preferred the garage feel, though I could see where TNA management might want to leave that behind. Anyway, the show was good—I'll be using @s instead of *s since my ratings will probably be inflated in virtue of being actually there.
(1) SUICIDE defeated ALEX SHELLEY, CHRIS SABIN, CONSEQUENCES CREED, and JAY LETHAL
Mini Recap: This was easily the match of the night. It's impressive how people can still come up with innovative ladder spots 10-15 years since wacky ladder matches exploded onto the scene. At various points in the match we were alternately concerned about Sabin and Lethal getting killed, but they both came out okay. Rachael had me start a "take-a-fall" chant whenever the Guns were in the ring together, which was eventually what Sabin did. That was kind of cool. This match and the main event both made new use of the fact that the King of the Mountain Match requires taking the belt up, which always seemed like the dumbest part of the gimmick. Suicide retaining was probably the right call, if for no other reason than that he should hold the belt at least long enough for there to be a Suicide-Homicide feud. Suicide won after running a horizontal ladder to hit a Cutter on Sabin on the vertical ladder, then hanging up the belt.
(2) DANIELS defeated SHANE DOUGLAS
Mini Recap: I cannot overstate how ticked the crowd was about this match. I don't know what you all saw at home, but by my count Shane Douglas hit a grand total of zero (0) moves. The pattern was pretty much: Daniels does something cool, Douglas hits him in the back and locks in a forty-five second rest hold, Daniels powers out, lather, rinse, repeat. By the end there were cries to "end this crap" and for "Dean Douglas." Some people behind me tried to start a "Best Match Ever" chant, but I kindly asked them to stop on the grounds that TNA booking is crazy enough that they might take it seriously. Daniels won with a BME.
3) ANGELINA LOVE defeated TARA
Mini Recap: This was basic Knockouts boilerplate. I was very much in favor of giving Angelina Love the belt ages ago, but the matches have been a mite formulaic since she took over. I'm not sure that that's her fault (in fact I strongly suspect that it is not), but it's really something they need to remedy. Love won when Tara got hair sprayed from the outside and backed into a Lights Out.
Mini Recap: Taylor Wilde and Daffney stole the show with their willingness to get at least as hardcore as the men. Highlights included Wilde Splashing Daffney through a table by the entranceway and Slamming her onto some tacks. Raven and Abyss were very much in their element. The crowd was insanely hot for this match, particularly the knockouts' spots. My only critique is their letting Abyss kick out of a Raven Effect DDT onto a chair and not allowing Raven to kick out of a Black Hole Slam.
RATING: @@@ I like garbage brawls, and they're even more fun in person.
5) STING vs. MATT MORGAN
Mini Recap: The most interesting part of this match was the crowd. There was a palpable anti-Sting sentiment. Apparently I am not the only one who thinks he's been off a step lately. I still cheered him over Morgan, but was mostly overridden. The match itself either supported the theory that Sting's best years are past or the theory that Morgan's best years are still in front of him, since it never kicked into anything resembling a higher gear. The finish was cool, with Sting nailing a Scorpion Death Drop off the top rope. It was pretty clear Sting had to win from the fact that they never really seemed clear what would happen if he lost: the match was billed as one where if Morgan won he'd get a spot in the MEM, Sting first talked as if he (Sting) would then be leaving the MEM, and it later seemed like Morgan was competing to be head of the MEM. It would have been nice to be clear on what was at stake.
6) BEER MONEY INC. defeated TEAM 3D
This was a lot weaker than their outing at Lockdown. They didn't have the cage to back them up, and there was a lot of pointless interference from the British Invasion. They really just won't let Team 3D lose clean. I don't get why not either. I tried to get an "overrated" chant going, but no one was biting. This match did lead to one of the best moments of the night though, when Earl Hebner was oddly distracted by Rob Terry's muscles. Beer Money won with a DWI after The British Invasion helped out by distracting the ref, baiting Brother Ray into (an admittedly fun) Top Rope Splash to the Outside, distracting Devon, ordering an air strike, and setting off a small tactical nuke.
7) KURT ANGLE defeated SAMOA JOE, A.J. STYLES, MICK FOLEY, and JEFF JARRETT
Mini Recap: The match started with Joe, clad in a Detroit Red Wings jersey, ambushing Kurt, who came out in a Pittsburg Penguins jersey. This was actually a surprisingly sound booking decision, given Joe's later heel turn. All through the night, the fans around me would start mocking Joe whenever he was as much as mentioned. The crowd was very clearly about AJ Styles, with small contingents supporting Jarrett and Foley, but absolutely no one behind Joe. The pre-match ambush both made sense in terms of Joe getting Angle eligible, and in terms of getting the crowd enough behind Joe to be upset by his betrayal. The match itself was very well done. Though I had picked Angle going in, the fact that Foley was pinned twice in the first five minutes was a nice bit of double-reverse psychology that convinced me that he would pull it off. Despite being sure that AJ didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, they played to the crowd by giving him the best hope spots. Even Mick busted out his giant elbow drop off the top of the cage. I see no reason for Jeff Jarrett to be in the title picture, but he didn't hog the spotlight as he did at Lockdown, so no harm was done. The ending (Joe handing Angle the belt on top of the ladder) was legitimately shocking, which is strange when you consider that I've been calling for a Joe heel turn for months now. In all fairness, I've been calling for a John Cena heel turn since the Carter administration, so I guess I'm just used to certain people never being heel. The scene of Joe handing Angle the belt also made good use of the reverse-ladder stip, which until tonight had really been something of a vestigial organ of a Russo-Jarrett feud from five years ago (you get mad TNA cred if you know what I'm talking about). I would have liked to see a bit more of wacky Foley refusing to defend his title, but, given how easy it would have been to make a royal mess of that angle, I'm cool with this Angle too.
STAR OF THE NIGHT: A.J. STYLES. No one performer held that first match together, but I have a distinct feeling that the main event sans A.J. would have been a train-wreck. An honorable mention goes to Daffney for her hardcoreness.
Overall: This show was a huge amount of fun. It was also well organized, with the main even not being a step down from the undercard for quite possibly the first time in 2009. The beginning and ending matches were well constructed, and the Monsters' Ball was a huge amount of fun. The tag team match and the women's match both did their things. Morgan vs. Sting was a disappointment, and Daniels vs. Douglas was a crime against nature, but even together they didn't pull that much away from the product. B+
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