Torch Flashbacks TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV FLASHBACK SERIES - 2007 REPORT: Kurt Angle wins KOTM, Bob Backlund, LOD & Steiners vs. Team 3D
Jun 11, 2010 - 2:00:49 PM
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TNA SLAMMIVERSARY PPV FLASHBACK REPORT
JUNE 17, 2007
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
TOP NEWS FROM THE SHOW
-Kurt Angle won King of the Mountain and the held up TNA Hvt. Title he last held.
-Team 3D lost to a make-shift team of Rick Steiner and the replacement for Scott Steiner, Road Warrior Animal.
-Abyss beat Tomko in a match that included a big stunt bump off the rafters onto stacks of big boxes below.
-Bob Backlund came out of retirement and beat Alex Shelley in three minutes.
WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR
The PPV opened with the original NWA-TNA theme, then showed scenes of Tennessee's highway scenery as banjo music played. Then early NWA-TNA clips aired including the midget in the garbage can masturbating. The usual series of clips of celebrities and big name wrestlers. Not sure if they were going for some of the low points in TNA history to make a point that they've come a long way, but they sure chose the most cheesy clips you could imagine from the past five years with little focus on what actual hardcore TNA fans would consider reason they're fans.
The Lo Cash Cowboys sang the Slammiversary theme song. The lead singer smashed his guitar on the rampway as pyro shot off to kick off the live show.
The LAX theme song played even before Mike Tenay or Don West introduced the show. Odd. Dave Penzer introduced LAX, then Tenay spoke for the first time.
(1) Rhino & Senshi (w/Hector Guerrero) vs. LAX (Hernandez & Homicide w/Konnan) in 10:00. No explanation given for Senshi subbing for Chris Harris during intros. The early camera angles, including a floating crane camera gave a much more major league perspective than the Impact Zone studio setting. It felt retro in a way, since it's an older building and TNA-budget production values compared to WWE, who set the standard, but it still felt big-time relative to usual for TNA. At 1:00 Rhino flipped Homicide over the top rope to the floor prompting the first chants of "TNA, TNA" of the night. Senshi was wearing basic black wrestling trunks. When Senshi tagged in against Hernandez, he threw some roundkicks to his legs. At 6:00 Rhino hit a spinebuster and covered Homicide. The ref stopped his count at two when Hernandez hit Rhino on the back even though Rhino was still covering Homicide and his shoulders were still on the mat. When Homicide was going to use a foreign object. Hector jumped onto the ring apron and gave him a snapshot. Rhino then speared him for the win. Yeah, Rhino & Senshi should be beating LAX in the opening on the five year anniversary show. Does someone not want LAX staying over? (**)
Tenay and West were shown on camera for the first time. West said "everyone has heard" that Scott Steiner suffered a "freaky injury in Puerto Rico" and would not be there. Phrasing it as "everyone knows" came across defensive, as if anyone who bought the event thinking he would be there based on, oh, let's say Thursday's nationally televised show that didn't mention he wouldn't be there, is simply "out of touch."
A video package aired on the King of the Mountain match. Then they went backstage to Jeremy Borash standing outside of Jim Cornette's office awaiting any word on Steiner's replacement and the fifth member of the KOTM match. Eric Young walked into the picture. He asked if they were alone. Borash pointed at the camera. Young said some strange line about a cat, a hill, and nine lives. Borash got bug-eyed, then Ms. Brooks walked up to him and tried to seduce him. She said she doesn't even like Robert Roode, but she loves him. Borash said, "Let's not go down this road again." Gail Kim barged into the picture and told Young to concentrate on the biggest match of his career, not her. Kim kissed Young, then said, "That's a kiss from a real woman." Brooks yelled, "Bitch!" and shoved Borash
Kevin Nash came out, followed by "Guru" Sonjay Dutt. Dutt threw flower pedals to the crowd as Nash joined West and Tenay on commentary. Nash said Dutt has been such a great influence on him already, he didn't even get upset when TNA flew him coach instead of first class. Then came Black Machismo's intro.
(2) "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal defeated Chris Sabin to capture the X Division Title in 9:00. Nash said his goal was to destroy Sabin, but he couldn't and he earned respect for him as a result. Nash's mic went out for a minute early in the match. He said they do that to him every time. Lethal dove through the ropes onto Sabin, prompting a "TNA, TNA" chant. Back in the ring, he scored an early two count. Tenay then plugged a text message poll asking viewers to vote for who will win the KOTM match with a chance to win $500 and a week of TNA text messaging. Nash said he saw Kurt Angle backstage and he looked ready. Sabin came back and gave Lethal the Garvin Stomp leading to a two count. In the end, Lethal hit the top rope elbow for the clean win. Nash entered the ring to congratulate Lethal on the win. Just an average match, unfortunately. Nothing wrong with it, but it just didn't add up to a dramatic story in under ten minutes. (**1/4)
Clips aired of the Slammiversary press conference with Frank Wycheck. Leticia interviewed Storm and Miss Jackie backstage. Storm said Wycheck should kiss his wife and kids goodbye for the final time because he's give him his final concussion. Jackie told Leticia the boobs she bought are a little lopsided. Leticia felt her boobs and looked down to see if they were lopsided. She shouldn't sell heels making ridiculous insults; instead, she should show enough confidence (and brains) to know Jackie was just trying to get to her.
(3) Frank Wycheck & Jerry Lynn (w/Kyle Vanden Bosch of the Nashville Titans) defeated James Storm & Ron Killings when Wycheck pinned Storm at 8:00. No explanation give for Killings going heel. Killings did antagonize the crowd with hip thrusts and insults during the babyface team's ring intro. Killings and Storm mocked the Titans by throwing a football around and dropping it. Wycheck dropkicked Storm out of the ring shortly after tagging in, then he ducked a Killings kick. Killings flew to the floor. Wycheck then pressed Lynn off the top rope and threw him into the heels at ringside. Wycheck threw Storm over the top rope. As he attempted to skin the cat, Lynn dropkicked him to the floor. Wycheck chased Killings at ringside, but Storm caught him with a clothesline. Storm then rammed Wycheck into the security railing. The ref took a chair from Storm before he could hit Wycheck. Storm gave Lynn a whirlybird. Then he took a sip of beer and spit it at Vanden Bosch at 6:00. Wycheck tagged in and gave dropkicks to both Killings and Storm, then rammed their heads together. He then used an eye rake on Killings, but turned and was superkicked by Storm. When Vanden Bosch yanked Storm out of the ring, Jackie jumped on Vanden Bosch's back. He flipped her off, then shoved Storm into the guard rail. Meanwhile, Killings beat on Wycheck. Storm was about to hit Wycheck with the bottle as Lynn made the save. Wycheck then gave Storm a piledriver for the pin. Storm popped his head out from between his legs to protect himself, which was wise. Tenay declared it "Music City Miracle Number Twooo!"
A video package aired on Bob Backlund.
(4) Bob Backlund pinned Alex Shelley in 3:00. Tenay said Backlund hasn't wrestled in about a decade. West said at nearly 60 years old, he may be in as good a shape as anyone in TNA. He did look good for a 58 year old. He dared to go shirtless for his match. West said Backlund won't give out an autograph unless you can recite all of the presidents of the U.S. in order. He said he saw a woman do it recently. Backlund, of course, used a double underhook suplex early followed by an atomic drop. Shelley distracted the ref as Sabin tried to attack Backlund. Backlund shook the top rope to throw Sabin off balance, though. Then he used a drop toe hold to send Shelley into Sabin's crotch. Backlund then rolled up Shelley and bridged into a three count. (1/2*)
Afterward, Backlund put Shelley in the Crossface Chicken Wing. Nash trotted to the ring and pulled Backlund off of Shelley. Let's see. Sabin wrestled Nash's guy, Machismo, earlier as a heel. Now Sabin helps Nash's guy, Shelley. Lynn then ran out to side with Backlund, but Nash gave him a big boot. Shelley and Sabin doubled on Backlund for a few seconds, then turned to Lynn. Machismo ran to the ring and gave elbows to Sabin and Shelley, knocking them out of the ring. Nash didn't look happy at ringside with Machismo's run-in. A poorly executed booking mess between match two and match four.
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
The lights went down and Christopher Daniels cut a promo from the stands filled with those "fakey pro wrestling ha ha ha's" between sentences. He said he has always been an angel sent from the Heavens to do his bidding. He has strived to be God-like in word and in deed, but the god he follows take an eye for an eye and a life for a life. He said his god gave him the gifts to become Champion of the World. His music then played and he totally froze and lost his place and uttered three sentence fragments and then walked away. Oops.
A video package set up the VKM vs. Basham & Damaja tag match.
(5) VKM (Kip & B.G. James) beat Basham & Damaja (w/Christy Hemme) in 4:00. West tried to explain how Christy Hemme was the heel in this situation butting heads with the chauvinist prick Kip James. It didn't really make sense. He said she "went on and on about it," but then gave her credit for finding a team to represent her. They had a four-way brawl before the bell. In the mobile text poll, A.J. Styles got 25 percent, Samoa Joe 30 percent (which led to them listing Styles at no. 1 at Joe at no. 2!), Angle at 20 percent, Christian at 15 percent, and the mystery wrestler at 10 percent. Giving VKM the win here is just wrong for many reasons, but not a surprise. When Damaja and Basham lifted Kip for a suplex, B.G. speared Damaja and then Kip small packaged Basham for the win. (1/2*)
Afterward, Kip chased Christy around ringside and to the back where she ran into the arms of Lance Hoyt. He was going to carry her to the back, but Kip told him to carry her to the ring. Hoyt brought her into the ring while chomping on gum. Kip grabbed Christy by the throat. Hoyt gave Kip a big boot for a surprise heel turn. Basham and Damaja re-entered the ring and attacked B.G. The crowd booed Hoyt from stopping Kip from attacking Christy largely unprovoked. Hoyt yelled in the faces of Kip and B.G. that it's his time. Christy leaped into Hoyt's arms and they made out.
Cornette told Rick Steiner backstage that he had to forfeit his match because he won't let him wrestle alone. Rick said he got himself a partner, he isn't alone. He whispered it to Cornette. He reacted as if it was a big name, then he told him he had himself a tag match. Rick barked and ran off.
They cut to LAX attacking Hector Guerrero at the Spanish announcing table.
(6) Eric Young pinned Robert Roode in 10:00. Young flinched as always when his pryo shot off. Roode slapped Young at the start. Young choked him in return. Roode bailed out to ringside; Young dove off the top rope onto him. After several minutes of back and forth action, Young yanked Brooks's pants done in retaliation for interfering. Young tackled Roode at ringside at 6:00. Back in the ring he hit a top rope elbow for a near fall. Brooks ran into the ring to interfere again, so Young picked both her and Roode up into a fireman's carry and FU'd both of them for a near fall. The crowd chanted, "This is awesome!" Roode caught Young with a chairshot leading to a three count at 8:00. It was announced Young was fired as a result. "You're fired!" shouted Roode. Cornette walked out and said, "Wait just a minute!" He said the finish wasn't "fair and square," so he restarted the match. Gail Kim ran to ringside and jumped Brooks from behind to knock a chair out of her hands. She chased her to the back. Young was still KO'd in center-ring, just dead weight as Roode tried to lift him. Young, though, was playing possum as he just rolled him up for the pin. (**)
Borash interviewed Team 3D backstage. Brother Ray said Scott Steiner "punked out" the fans, his brother, and them by not showing up for the legendary tag team match. "I think he's got a problem with his throat because he's been talking too much - too much crap about Team 3D." He said he hates to stand there and bad-mouth the Steiners because until four weeks ago, they respected them. Ray said Rick's been out of wrestling for five, seven, ten years so "what kind of partner can he scab up at this time?" Ray said he hopes Rick's come up with someone good and he hopes Scott gets well soon so they can beat the crap out of him. Really good promo from Ray. When he's on, he's really good. With good booking behind him or a key issue that motivates him that he can riff on, he's excellent.
(7) Road Warrior Animal & Rick Steiner beat Team 3D. Good substitution given the backstory of the match. The crowd seemed pleased, as did Tenay and West. Rick definitely has a bigger and flabbier gut than in his prime years. He moved around like he was carrying more weight, too. All four could have a beer gut contest, actually. NOt sure who'd "win" that one. At 3:00 Rick tagged in Animal against Ray. They collided mid-ring and Ray went down. Ray gave Animal a piledriver, which Animal no-sold, showing us the "scorched earth" style that almost killed every territory the Warriors wrestled in during the 1980s. It settled into D-Von beating on Rick for a couple minutes before a hot-tag to Animal. Team 3D gave Animal a double-team neckbreaker, but then Rick gave a Steinerline to D-Von. D-Von responded with the 3D and Team3D scored a double pin. Surprising finish, but the right one. Not pretty, but not a disaster, either. (3/4*)
(8) Sting pinned Christopher Daniels in 7:00. Sting rappelled down from the rafters. West acted like Sting flew around the arena with angel's wings. He said something like that entrance can get in Daniels's head. "Unbelievable! Wow!" Seriously, Don, it wasn't that big of a deal. At 2:00 Daniels got in his first offense by knocking Sting off the apron into the ringside barrier. Sting threw some punches to tease a comeback a minute later, but Daniels absorbed them, took Sting down with his own punches, then walked over his chest in a cocky manner. Daniels raked Sting's eyes. When he applied an abdominal stretch, the ref Earl "Hepner" Hebner forced him to release because of the eye rake. Daniels did, but then chest-butted Hebner. Seconds later, Daniels hit a split-legged moonsault for a near fall on Sting. When Daniels showboated, Sting caught his breath and then made his superman no-sell comeback. He hit Daniels with a barrage of punches and clotheslines followed by a face-plant for a near fall at 6:00. When Sting went for a Stinger Splash, Daniels lifted his knees, then set up a Last Rites. Sting countered it into a Scorpion Death Drop for the clean win. Too short and cliched, but the pacing and some of the spots were good. (*3/4)
Leticia interviewed Christian Cage, A.J. Styles, and Tomko backstage. Christian didn't like Leticia calling him a "former champion." He said after King of the Mountain, no one can call him that again. Styles said he's in the match, too. Christian choked up and told Styles that he can't believe what he's doing for him tonight, sacrificing himself for him in the match. He cried and hugged Styles, who seemed taken in by Christian's crying. Christian then sternly told Tomko to take Abyss out so he can't come after him. Tomko sarcastically said, "I'll get right on that for ya'." Styles observed that he and Christian were both wearing black and gold. That made him happy.
WHAT HAPPENED: 3RD HOUR
(9) Abyss pinned Tomko in 13:00. At 3:00 Abyss butt-rammed Tomko in the corner, which showed a lot of light. Tomko was smart not to sell it. Tenay pointed out he barely grazed him if anything, which is always a credibility-builder (assuming the wrestler didn't sell it, in which case it's best to just ignore it and move on). Abyss brought a bag of something into the ring. He poured out tacks. They gave the obligatory close-up to show how real and pointy they were. Abyss set up a chokeslam on Tomko, but as usual Abyss took too long to pour out the tacks (he's not portrayed as the sharpest tack in the bag), so Tomko easily defended himself and then slammed Abyss onto them. They showed tacks stuck into Abyss's arm. Abyss nailed Tomko with a Black Hole Slam out of nowhere leading to a near fall. Abyss went to ringside and pulled out another black sack. He poured out broken glass, but Tomko had plenty of time to recover and clotheslined him onto the pile. Tomko grabbed a piece of glass and sliced across Abyss's forehead. Because it was a no-DQ match, the ref just watched. Tomko followed up by stomping Abyss's face into the glass. Tomko grabbed a barbed wire bat from under the ring and bashed Abyss in the gut with it, then across the back. They both climbed scaffolding by the entrance set. Tomko stood on top with the bat raised in the air. Abyss grabbed the bat and yanked Tomko off the top. He flipped down to the ground. Then Abyss leaped off and down onto Tomko below. Lots of "Oh my gods!" from West. The black curtain was pulled away revealing a huge stack of big boxes taped together to create the soft landing pad. The replay made the impact appear pretty harmless.The ref walked over to Abyss and the mic picked him up telling Abyss that he "needed to go home" so there was time for the main event. Abyss had been lying there selling the spot. Abyss got up and staggered to the ring. Back in the ring, Abyss immediately gave Tomko a Black Hole Slam onto the glass. The camera zoomed in revealing the gimmick glass didn't gouge Tomko's back at all. A lot just didn't click, and 13 minutes wasn't quite long enough to tell their story. (**1/2)
They went quickly backstage to Borash interviewing Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Angle told Joe that tonight they should go out and do what they need to do. He offered a handshake. Joe shook his hand and told him intensely that he was going to break him.
Tenay pointed to the big screen for an interview with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett talked about TNA's history and it being a dream come true. He said the early days were great. Jeff teared up as he spoke about it. He said money was so lean back when he flew to Japan to beat up Hulk Hogan, he cashed in his mileage. He choked up as he talked about his wife Jill's early support for the TNA. He said the emotion is still very raw. He said she gave him the real encouragement "because she believed probably to a fault everything I did." He said she'd get all hyped up, telling him, "Jarrett, you can do this!" They showed a couple pictures of her. He said she had the real passion, not just for the business, their kids, or their marriage, but for life. He said over 11 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. He said she fought it and got a clean bill of health, but two and a half years ago it came back. He said she left the hospital on May 1 and on May 23, "as the preacher said, she won the real race." He said she had a lot of deep love for a lot of people. He said her love will go on forever through her kids. He said he doesn't know when, if, or where he'll return. He said he knows being inside a wrestling ring is the worst place for him right now. He thanked everyone for their unwavering support. He closed by saying, "Thank you on behalf of Jill. Thank you." Very touching presentation and a genuine outpouring of emotion by Jeff for his wife.
They returned live to the arena for a chant of "Jill" and "Thank you, Jeff." Some fans were crying.
Cornette stood in the ring with Tenay and a ref holding the TNA World Hvt. Title belt. Cornette said there were only two choices in his mind. He said both men were part of TNA from the beginning and both were very deserving. He said the first one was Jeff Jarrett, but he said Jeff insisted he give the opportunity to the other option. He introduced Chris Harris. West said it was the right decision.
(10) Kurt Angle won the King of the Mountain match over Christian Cage, Chris Harris, A.J. Styles, and Samoa Joe to capture the TNA Hvt. Champion. They revealed the text message vote and once against Styles at no.1 with 25 percent of the vote ahead of Samoa Joe at no. 2 who had 30 percent. Once was bad enough, but twice? The match began at 10:29 p.m. ET, giving them about 20 minutes max for the match. After a five-way brawl initially, on Christian's orders, Styles laid on his back for Christian, giving him a chance to score an easy quick pin. Styles wasn't totally into it, but he did it. Joe and Angles brawled with each other at ringside as Harris battled Styles and Christian. Styles hit a great dropkick on Harris. Styles then asked Christian to lie down for him to get a pin. Christian didn't go for that, so Styles sunset flipped Christian for a near fall. As they carried, Harris came back and clotheslined Christian. Styles gave Harris an enzuigiri. Joe yanked Styles off the ring apron before he could springboard into the ring, then swung him by his legs into the railing. At 4:00 Harris pinned Styles after a Catatonic to qualify for climbing the ladder and hanging the belt up to win the match. Joe threw a ladder onto Christian and Storm on the floor, then Joe and Angle fought in the ring. Angle hit three unreleased German suplexes, then Christian entered the ring and went after Angle. Angle slipped on an anklelock as Joe put Christian in a kokina clutch. At 8:00 Angle reversed a Styles Clash attempt and flipped Styles into an ankle lock. Styles escaped, then Harris backdropped Styles onto Christian who was lying on a ladder bridged at ringside. As Harris climbed the ladder with the belt, Angle gave him an Olympic slam off the ladder and scored a pin. As Angle went for the ladder, Joe knocked him down and threw the ladder out of the ring. Joe gave Styles a Musclebuster and went for a pin, but Angle broke it up, then mistakenly clotheslined the ref. Joe applied a rear naked choke, but the ref didn't see Angle tap. Joe released the choke. Christian rammed Joe in the face with the ladder, then pinned Angle at 11:00. Angle had to spend two minutes in a penalty cage at ringside where Harris was already locked. Christian climbed the ladder with the belt. Joe met him at the top and punched the belt out of his hand, then gave him an inverted DDT onto the mat off the ladder. At 13:00 Harris climbed the ladder with the belt and got close to hanging it when Joe met him at the top. Harris knocked him down with a shot with the ladder to the forehead. Christian met Harris at the top. Harris shoved him down. Styles then springboarded off the top rope into the ladder, knocking Storm to the mat. Angle was let out of the penalty box. Styles stood on the top rope, then walked to the top of the penalty cage. Joe followed him. They fought on the roof. They battled for a suplex, but both blocked it. Joe then applied a choke. Styles mule kicked to escape. Joe sat on the edge of the cage. He yanked Styles over his head onto a table on the floor. Styles had a late tuck adding drama to the moment. The crowd chanted "This is awesome!" Harris and Christian fought atop the cage. Harris front suplexed Christian into the ring from the roof, then he leaped off and onto Angle with a clothesline. A loud "TNA, TNA" chant started. Harris climbed the ladder with the belt in mid-ring at at 17:00. Christian tipped the ladder over and Harris went chin-first into the top turnbuckle. Christian then hit Harris with the ladder. He was the only person left in the match on his feet. He grabbed the belt and climbed the ladder. He was too beat up to climb quickly. When he got to the top, Angle grabbed his boot. He applied the anklelock while Christian was on top of the ladder. Christian kicked out of it. He hit Angle with the belt, then tried to hang it again. Angle punched him in the gut. Harris then leaped off the top rope and speared Christian off the ladder to the floor. Angle checked around him, saw everyone knocked out, and then hung the belt to win. Satisfying main event, but characteristically overly frenzied with a rushed feeling. They could have used an extra 10-15 minutes to fit in everything they did at a more emotionally palatable pace. (***3/4)
Afterward, Joe offered a handshake of congratulations to Angle. Angle instead kicked him in the gut, then stood on the second rope and held his newly won title in the air.
Kevin Nash: "Tonight I've got several of my children out here. I feel like Jim Jones."
Don West in response, cracking up Nash: "Let's hope it has a better ending."
Mike Tenay, not knowing when to leave well enough along, interjecting a tired cliche: "Don't drink the Kool-Aid." (No laugh from Nash on that one, by the way.)
Kevin Nash: "I lot of people don't know this (city) used to be Jonesville. Then I came in and changed it to Nashville."
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