TNA Slammiversary PPV Report
June 12, 2016
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The PPV opened with Jeremy Borash standing in the ring to address mass shootings earlier today in Orlando. With the locker room standing on the stage, JB asked for a moment of silence. The silence lasted about a minute before the PPV faded to an intro video package on key feuds playing out tonight.
- TNA Hvt. Title match: Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley
- Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
- Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway
Back in the arena, Josh Mathews introduced the show. Up first is the typical X Division Title opener. Out first was Eddie Edwards, then D.J. Zema getting yet another title shot. Andrew Everett and X Division champion Trevor Lee were out next with Gregory Helms. Before the opening bell, JB announced that Helms has been banned from ringside. Helms sold being very upset, mainly because he wore a nice suit to the ring.
Edwards and D.J. Zema dropkicked Everett and Lee from behind as they complained to jumpstart the action. No bell, though. Edwards and Zema blasted Helms’s reps all over ringside until rolling them back into the ring to officially start the match.
1 — X Division champion TREVOR LEE vs. ANDREW EVERETT vs. EDDIE EDWARDS vs. D.J. ZEMA — four-way X Division Title match
The match built to Trevor and Andrew breaking down in their teamwork when Everett had Zema pinned, but Lee broke it up. So, Edwards landed a double dropkick as they argued. Lee then nailed Zema with a flying cross-body press for a two count. All four men battled in the ring with bodies flying everywhere. Edwards then smashed Lee with a superkick and covered him for a super-close two count. Edwards sold thinking he won the match.
All four men were down on the mat eight minutes into the match after a flurry of high-flying moves. Everett and D.Z. wiped each other at ringside, leaving Lee and Edwards to battle in the ring. Lee wanted his fisherman buster finisher, but Edwards countered with a quick small package for a three count to give Edwards the win.
Post-match, Lee sold shock over the loss while Edwards celebrated in the ring. A replay showed how Edwards surprised Lee for a quick three count to win. Back live, Edwards celebrated with the ringside fans.
WINNER: Edwards at 10:12 to capture the X Division Title. This was on the high-end of TNA’s typical multi-man X Division PPV openers. Everyone looked good and they paid off Edwards’s quest for the title. (***)
Down at ringside: Josh Mathews and The Pope were shown on-camera to hype the rest of the show.
Backstage: TNA showed Drew Galloway and Bobby Lashley warming up for the TNA Title main event still to come.
Backstage: JB brought in Ethan Carter III to talk about facing Mike Bennett. ECIII said on this Sabbath, he shall not rest because tonight he ends his quest for redemption against Bennett. Carter said he needs to beat Bennett to be the best pro wrestler in this place. He called Bennett a false prophet who is going to get two fists and ten knuckles like Moses with the ten commandments. ECIII said he’s heading to church tonight.
Slammiversary 2012 flashback: TNA showed Dixie Carter introducing Sting as the first TNA Hall of Fame inductee. On commentary, Mathews said they will announce the latest HOF inductee this Tuesday on Impact.
In-ring: Al Snow brought out former NXT tag team The Tribunal for the next match. Snow, wearing a “FRANCE” zip-up jacket, butchered the French language introducing his new tag team. Snow said just like Donald Trump is going to make this country again, he is going to make wrestling great again. Grado and Shera were introduced as their opponents.
2 — THE TRIBUNAL (Bald Guy & Beard Guy w/Al Snow) vs. GRADO & SHERA
The Tribunal jumped Grado and Shera before the opening bell to quickly take control of the match. Shera was isolated as Snow blew his coach’s whistle every time his team did something effective. Grado finally had enough of the situation and dragged Shera over to his corner to tag himself in at 4:50.
Grado landed consecutive offense to each Tribunal member, then Snow got on the ring apron to blow his whistle in Snow’s face. Grado then stole the whistle and blew it in Snow’s face. The distraction allowed Tribunal to double-team finish Grado for what looked like a three count, but Grado kicked out.
As Grado recovered, Shera came flying out of the air with a springboard axe handle smash. Suddenly, they paused to dance, which upset the Tribunal. After another distraction from Snow, the baldheaded Dax hit a guillotine smash on Grado for the pin and the win. After the match, Al Snow celebrated and cried being proven right against Grado and Shera.
WINNERS: Tribunal at 7:35. Amateurish tag match coming down from the X Division match. (*1/2)
Backstage: In a dimly-lit area of the building, Pepper Parks walked through the hallway looking for the interview set. Parks approached James Storm, who was in the middle of a promo. They had an uncomfortable conversation about Storm thinking Parks was calling him old. Storm led him away for a private chat.
Video Package: Gail Kim vs. Maria Kanellis feud that ran on a loop on the pre-show.
In-ring: Gail Kim was introduced first for the featured Knockouts match. Mathews noted Maria claims to have an injury preventing her from facing Gail tonight. Maria was then introduced to the ring not dressed to wrestled. She was joined by her apprentice Allie. Allie whined into the ring that Gail should be ashamed of herself for faking an injury. She said the only person who deserves any sympathy is their leader, Maria Kanellis Bennett.
Maria spoke next that her hand is in a cast. She claimed that she wanted to come out here tonight and fight Gail. But, because of her injury, the match is off. Gail replied that Allie needs to shut her mouth. She said Maria is a liar. Maria shook her head no from the stage. “I’m not a liar,” Maria said. She claimed to have proof. Gail said she is in this ring tonight, so Maria is going to get in the ring, or she will make her.
Suddenly, Billy Corgan’s music played. Corgan walked out on-stage looking goofy with aviator shades and a giant envelope. Corgan said it’s true that Maria’s hand is broken. Corgan said the X-rays show a break. The crowd didn’t buy it. Maria said her hand might take a very long time to heal, so Gail may never get the match.
Gail replied that Maria needs to get in the ring right now. Billy said that’s just not possible, but this is Slammiversary and they need to have a special match. So, Gail has been added to the Knockouts Title match. And it starts right now.
Referee Earl Hebner jogged down to the ring past Maria, then Sienna was introduced as the original challenger to the title. Knockouts champion Jade was out next to defend the belt as JB noted that Jade has shed her Dollhouse persona.
3 — KO champion JADE vs. GAIL KIM vs. SIENNA (w/Maria and Allie) — three-way Knockouts Title match
Jade and Gail worked together early on trying to neutralize Sienna. But, Sienna used her size advantage to knock Gail out of the ring, then target Jade. She knocked Jade out of the ring, then stood tall by herself. The match moved to the floor, where Gail and Jade knocked down Sienna before knocking each other down. Ref Hebner checked on everyone as Maria and Allie watched from the stage.
All three rolled back into the ring at the same time, where the battle resumed. Gail and Jade once again knocked down Sienna, but Allie and Marie got involved down at ringside. Suddenly, Marti Belle from the ol’ Dollhouse hit the ring and wiped out Jade behind the ref’s back. Sienna then pinned Jade to capture the title.
WINNER: Sienna at 8:11 to capture the Knockouts Title. Sienna is a good choice for next Knockouts champion. Compromising the ref is cliched in TNA, but it was fine trying to set up Sienna’s title run, shifting Jade to a feud with Marti, and continuing the Gail-Maria feud. (**)
Backstage: JB welcomed in Bobby Lashley to discuss the TNA Hvt. Title match. Lashley said there is only way for this title match to end tonight – knockout or tap-out. Lashley told Galloway that he made the mistake of entering his world of fighting. He told JB to practice announcing the new Hvt. champion. JB didn’t want to do it. Lashley forced him to do it.
In-ring: James Storm was introduced to the ring dressed to wrestle. Storm said he’s been part of every Slammiversary in TNA history. He went back to 14 years ago when one man gave punk kids like Abyss, A.J. Styles, and himself a chance. Storm talked up his character living how he wants to live by raising a lot of heck. He said he wants to sit at home 14 years from now watching someone else in this position, so he wants to give someone an opportunity. Storm told JB to introduce this man he’s about to give an opportunity to. Out came Braxton Sutter (Pepper Parks). JB called Sutter humble and desiring to be TNA Hvt. champion.
4 — JAMES STORM vs. BRAXTON SUTTER
Even match to begin with the two men wrestling out of respect. Sutter then landed a snap suplex into the corner turnbuckles, drawing a close two count.
Sutter followed with a bicycle kick to the head, but Storm intercepted a charging attack to nail a Codebreaker. Storm called for the Last Call and he nailed him right in the mouth. Storm covered for the win.
Post-match, Storm received a case of beers from the floor manager. Storm took out two beers and gave Sutter some encouragement before handing him a drink. Storm and Sutter posed in opposite corner of the ring, then embraced again in the middle of the ring. No heel turn from Sutter.
WINNER: Storm at 6:41. We’ve seen this story before – Sutter eventually decides he has to make a name for himself by turning on Storm. It just didn’t happen here. (**)
Backstage: JB brought in KOTM champion Eli Drake to discuss his King of the Mountain Title defense. JB said there will not be three title changes tonight. He said Bram might be crazy enough to put his life on the line to take this title from him, but it’s not happening. Eli said it’s a fact of life that he’s keeping the title. Eli sounds good on the mic, but he was all over the place here.
Slammiversary 2013 Flashback: Dixie Carter revealed Kurt Angle as the second TNA Hall of Famer.
In-ring: Bram was introduced to the ring as the KOTM challenger. Eli Drake was out next wearing the KOTM Title belt like a military weapon. Drake hit the ring and almost fell off the top rope posing in the corner. He played it up to the crowd before the bell sounded. From a face vs. face match to a heel vs. heel match…
5 — KOTM champion ELI DRAKE vs. BRAM — King of the Mountain Title match
Eli tried to duck a fight once the bell sounded and bailed to the floor to make Bram chase him around ringside. Eli then grabbed his title belt and bailed to the back. He stopped on the stage like “where is Bram to attack me from behind?” Bram eventually chased after him and took the belt away from Eli to hand it to ref Earl Hebner. The fight spilled back to ringside without a count-out situation.
Bram pulled back the ringside padding looking to slam Eli onto the concrete floor, but Eli countered with a back body drop onto the concrete floor. Eli returned to the ring and again almost fell off the top turnbuckle. Now Hebner started counting as Bram sold on the floor. Bram made it to his feet at eight, then returned to the ring at nine.
Bram made a comeback, then hit the Brighter Side of Suffering, but Eli smartly rolled out of the ring to the floor to avoid being pinned. Bram tried to follow up, but Eli nailed a big lariat to the face for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Drake at 8:37 to retain the KOTM Title. Drake has a lot of upside once he advances past the goofy heel business. (**1/4)
Backstage: JB brought in Mike Bennett along with Maria to discuss his match against ECIII tonight. Bennett said he is The Miracle, claiming to be the best wrestler on the planet. He also ended ECIII’s unpinned streak, and now Carter gets his so-called redemption match. But, that’s not happening tonight. Bennett said the crowd will be honoring him, not Carter, after tonight.
In-ring: Mike Bennett’s music played to produce Maria for the second time tonight. Maria said she has one question for the audience – do you believe in The Miracle? Out came Mike Bennett dressed in a retro gold & black outfit. Ethan Carter III was out next to face Bennett. ECIII fired up the crowd in the face role after playing heel the previous two nights for EVOLVE.
6 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria Kanellis Bennett)
ECIII dominated early on as Bennett tried to get in some offense, but Carter eventually dumped him over the top rope to the floor. Carter lit up Bennett with hard chops to the chest, then tried a running attack, but Bennett sidestepped and sent Carter face-first into the turnbuckle.
Back in the ring, Bennett worked over Carter for a while as the crowd grew restless. Carter came back with a big lariat to draw an “E-C-Three!” chant. Carter followed up with the One-Percenter, but Bennett kicked out of the pin. The match moved to the ring apron, where ECIII nailed a TKO across the edge of the ring.
ECIII tried to fly back into the ring toward Bennett, who intercepted with a mid-air cutter. Bennett covered for a two count. Bennett then got caught in a Cobra Clutch, but Bennett pulled in referee Brian Hebner to deliver a mule kick to the groin. Bennett followed with a piledriver for a close two count.
Carter came back with the One-Percenter, but Maria slid a chair into the ring right where Hebner was going to make the count. That slowed down Hebner, who eventually counted a two count. ECIII then left the ring to intimidate Maria, who backed away as Hebner yelled at Carter to get back in the ring. Carter walked right into a TKO on the chair, Mathews said this is over and a travesty, and Carter kicked out. Carter followed with another One-Percenter for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ethan Carter III at 15:01. ECIII is a superstar-in-the-making, so this was the right call for Carter to get the win. Bennett remains a work in progress in the ring and with his look. (**3/4)
Somewhere in the building: The crazy madman composer Matt Hardy spoke in broken sentences about Jeff Hardy. Matt said he is the reason for Brother Nero’s success. Matt vowed to end Jeff tonight. This followed with a video package that ran on a loop on the PPV pre-show.
Back in the arena, Reby Sky spoke from the back. She emerged on-stage holding their child, Maxell. Reby cut a promo on the crowd and said Matt will delete Brother Nero from history tonight. The poor kid looked up at mom like “what’s going on?” Matt emerged to crazy composer piano music and kissed Maxell on the head before walking to the ring. Jeff Hardy’s music played and Matt met him in the entrance ramp to start the fight.
7 — MATT HARDY vs. JEFF HARDY — Full Metal Mayhem match
A wild brawl broke out ringside with Matt slamming Jeff face-first into the ringpost. Matt then picked up a ladder and rammed it over and over into Jeff’s stomach. Matt, with his hair frizzing out like he stuck his finger in a socket, proclaimed himself the best Hardy. Matt then scooped up Jeff, who sold a knee injury. Matt tried to send Jeff through a table, but Jeff countered with a suplex to the floor. Jeff followed with a big splash through the table for a close two count.
The match returned to the ring, where Jeff set up an extension ladder in the middle of the ring. Jeff dangled the ladder across the ring from one side to the other. Jeff delivered a Twist of Fate, then put Matt on top of the ladder. Jeff followed with a top-rope splash crashing through Matt and the ladder. But, it was only good for a two count. Jeff sold frustration with his inability to end Matt.
Jeff tried to follow with a top-rope Swanton Bomb, but Matt got knees up to block. Matt then bit Jeff’s ear/face, causing Jeff to scream in pain. Matt rolled Jeff to the ring apron, then gave him the Side Effect across the ring. Jeff sold being knocked out, then Matt went under the ring to retrieve a giant electronic keyboard. Matt placed the keyboard across a portion of the guardrail, then picked up Jeff and powerbombed him through the keyboard. But, Jeff kicked out of a pin on the floor.
Back in the ring, Jeff and Matt fought on a ladder and then knocked each other off the ladder into the ring ropes. Josh Mathews: “If you’re watching Impact for the first time, these two are brothers.” Great line capturing the seemingly-insane brotherly battle.
Matt still could not put Jeff away, then Jeff smashed Matt onto the table. Jeff followed with a giant Swanton Bomb through a table on the floor. Jeff covered Matt and a three count was rendered, ending the war.
Post-match, Jeff took a victory lap around ringside while Matt slowly got up in the background and disappeared to the back.
WINNER: Jeff at 16:57. Epic war between the Hardy Brothers. The video leading up to the match was over-the-top goofy, but this hit the right tone for a blood battle. Good win for Jeff ending the feud and setting up Matt for whatever is next for his character’s downward spiral. (****)
Video: Abyss spoke on behalf of The Decay that he is not a monster, but beautiful. Crazzy Steve said the future is full of warnings and chaos. Rosemary spoke last that The Decay is ever-changing like a corpse in the field. Speaking of corpses, the Bro-Mans died a long time ago. She said their gold might be tempting, but they stand no chance.
In-ring: The Bro-Mans along with Raquel were introduced to the ring for the forgotten TNA Tag Title match tonight. The Decay were out next to defend the titles.
8 — TNA tag champions THE DECAY (ABYSS & CRAZZY STEVE w/Rosemary) vs. BRO-MANS (ROBBIE E. & JESSIE GODDERZ w/Raquel) — TNA Tag Title match
Rosemary got in the ring a few minutes into the match, so Jessie lifted up Rosemary and press-slammed her onto the tag champs on the floor. Jessie rolled Abyss back into the ring, then wanted a springboard attack, but Steve yanked down Jessie from the floor. Jessie made a comeback, then tagged in Robbie E.
Robbie took out Crazzy, then tagged in Jessie looking for a double back body drop. But, they didn’t see Abyss coming with a double knock down clothesline. Suddenly, Rosemary tried to mist Robbie, but Robbie ducked and Abyss took the mist. Crazy tried to help out Abyss, but Abyss chokeslammed his tag partner. Jessie then nailed a springboard fist to Abyss’s face. Bro_mans followed with the Bro Down to Steve. Jessie then put Steve in a Boston Crab. Ref Stiffler basically fed his foot to the outside, where Abyss yanked him out of the floor. Abyss then accidentally misted the ref. Meanwhile, Steve tapped out to Jessie in the ring.
Chaos everywhere, including Raquel brawling with Rosemary. Steve then belt-shotted Jessie, a new ref showed up, and Jessie kicked out in time. Jessie came back with a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring, but Abyss broke it up. More chaos. Abyss then caught Jessie with a Black Hole Slam. Abyss powerbombed Steve on top of Jessie and Steve scored the pin for the win.
WINNERS: Decay at 9:18 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. Way over-booked for a buffer match leading into the main event. This type of typical TNA booking makes you appreciate NXT even more with clean finishes and no outside interference on their specials/PPVs. (*1/2)
Backstage: TNA Hvt. champion Drew Galloway cut a promo on Bobby Lashley ahead of the main event. Galloway said he will never quit, so Lashley will have to knock him out to beat him. Galloway said he’s been defending this title in multiple companies and countries. He said he isn’t an underdog. “I tapped out Kurt Angle!” he said. “I sure can beat Bobby Lashley!”
In-ring: Bobby Lashley was introduced to the ring for the main event title match. Lashley was sporting a red headband on this occasion. Drew Galloway was out next to defend TNA’s top title. Galloway wore a traditional Scottish kilt for this battle. JB handled formal ring introductions before the main event started.
9 — TNA World Hvt. champion DREW GALLOWAY vs. BOBBY LASHLEY — TNA World Hvt. Title match — Tap-out or Knockout only
As soon as the bell sounded, Galloway charged the ring and smashed Lashley in the face with the Claymore Kick. Galloway did not follow up, though, and just stood over Lashley, allowing him to recover and return fire. The match then spilled to the floor to continue the battle.
Back in the ring, Galloway went for his Iron Maiden submission finisher, but Lashley quickly wiggled free to escape. With both men back on their feet, Lashley came back with a big spear in the middle of the ring. Lashley continued the attack, but Galloway came back with a flying shoulder attack. Galloway followed with a big kick to the head rocking Lashley to the corner.
The fight moved to the floor, where Galloway caught Lashley and sent him flying into the ring steps. Galloway followed with a Celtic Cross on the ring steps. Lashley stayed in the match, then Galloway put him in a Sharpshooter on the ring steps. Big spot, but Lashley hung in there for the match to continue. So, Galloway retrieved a table and put Lashley on the wood. Big-man Drew Galloway went flying over the top rope with a flip dive, but Lashley moved and Galloway crashed through the table to the floor.
Lashley became incensed when Galloway showed signs of life, so he pounded him repeatedly in the face. Lashley demanded a 10-count start. Galloway dramatically got up at eight, though, and he was sporting blood on his forehead.
Galloway charged the ring, where Lashley put him in a submission. But, Drew hit his feet and smashed Lashley with a Tombstone Piledriver. Lashley answered a 10 count, so Galloway charged him for a Claymore, but Lashley side-stepped and put Drew in a neck vice submission. Drew sold losing consciousness, the ref checked Drew for signs of life, there was nothing from Drew, and the ref called for the bell. New champion.
Post-match, doctors immediately hit the ring to check on Drew while Lashley soaked in his title victory. Drew remained face-down on the mat selling the effects before finally waking up. They replayed the finish, then Lashley was shown leaving with the title belt. Lashley fell down on the entrance ramp clutching the title belt. Mathews said it’s a whole new world with Lashley as World champion.
WINNER: Lashley via TKO at 17:04 to capture the TNA Hvt. Title. Another really good brawl/grudge match on this show. Lashley and Drew brought it in the ring, delivering a main event-worthy title match. (***3/4)
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