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Greg Parks, Torch columnist (7.0): Slammiversary was a strong first PPV effort from the Anthem/GFW group. A lot of babyfaces went over as the company seemed to want to make a good impression with the fans. Robert Flores and Don West did well on commentary: West slipped right back into his usual style, where he appears to be on the verge of a heart attack while calling the action. Flores could’ve geeked out and tried to imitate some of the greats, but he played it straight and sounded excellent.
The tag title match that opened Slammiversary showed just how far above and beyond LAX’s presentation is compared to any other team in the company. The match was a nice mix to show off GFW’s relationship with its global partners. DeAngelo Williams was a pleasant surprise for a celebrity wrestler. While athletes tend to have the athleticism down, the timing is harder and isn’t usually there in that first match. Williams had it. I wish the table broke at the finish so that he could’ve ended on a high note. This also gave Anthem a mainstream media moment.
Ethan Carter III vs. James Storm was a better strap match than we’ve seen with that stipulation in the past. As I wrote earlier, while those in charge wanted to give fans the warm and fuzzies with this show, ECIII going over was the right call here. I’m not sure if Storm’s injury will lead to anything at the next taping. They tried to mimic Final Deletion with the announcer tag match (which makes sense given that Jeremy Borash was a major part of those Deletion segments). It didn’t come across as well. The story seemed to be JB wanting Joseph Park to channel his inner-Abyss, and that’s what we got – complete with Sinister Minister appearance. That Loudmouth Josh Mathews taking a bump into the tacks was a satisfying way to close this chapter.
The Full Metal Mayhem match was much shorter than I expected, though given the stipulation and the punishment taken early on, it does make sense that the bout would end earlier. It’s too bad what could be the conclusion to the great Edwards vs. Richards feud felt like an afterthought by show’s end. Dutt vs. Low Ki was better than the usual X Division car crash. And it was only one-on-one. I wonder if there’s a connection there. This was a time where I thought the two-out-of-three falls stipulation added to the story of the match.
I wasn’t all that impressed by Sienna vs. Rosemary. Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness is the big-time feud in that division anyway. I figured Jeff Jarrett would announce the GFW deal on TV here, but he didn’t – they may have been short on time. Alberto El Patron vs. Lashley was a fine main event. No complaints. Dos Caras looked like he was ready to go mall walking after watching his son wrestle. It was easy to see El Patron was motivated here.
(Greg Parks joins Wade Keller on the PWTorch Livecast a couple times a month, usually after WWE Smackdown. Read additional columns from him at PWTorchVIP.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.)