Pre-Show: The pre-show featured no matches. Instead we get various TNA stars talking about the Aces & Eights crew, from Austin Aries down to Hulk Hogan. I’ve watched a few episodes of Impact lately and honestly these highlight videos are much better then the two hour shows they’ve been putting on. Hulk Hogan and Jeff Hardy are promised to be in attendance tonight, along with the next inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame, so hopefully it’ll be a good show. We’ve got a Spanish announce team in the house along with a French announce team. Talk about random.
Chris Sabin defeats Suicide and Kenny King (c) in an Ultimate X match for the X-Division Title: Sabin is out first and Christy Hemme is looking outstanding tonight. Great to see Chris Sabin back in action here, he’s always been one of my favorites. Suicide is out second, because they have to have three-way matches now when it’s an X-Division match. Kenny King, the champion, is out last as he should be. I liked Kenny King when he was in ROH, and it’s nice to see him with some gold on a bigger stage. First time at a Slammiversary that we’ve had an Ultimate X match, which is nice. Sabin has the most experience here being in fourteen Ultimate X matches and a being a for time X-Division champion. All three men hitting plenty of high impact moves, with Kenny King busting out a modified Ghetto Blaster! Sabin is busted open and the majority of the match has all three men wrestling rather then trying to go after the belt. All three men finally go up for the title but Sabin is able to knock down King and take the X Division title home. It’s his first since 2007 and a great win for Chris Sabin.
Promo Time: Hulk Hogan comes out and congratulates Chris Sabin for winning the X-Division title. Hogan puts over Sabin and the city of Boston. Of course, Hogan’s gotta talk about beating up Andre the Giant, in Boston. Hogan announces that just like last year, the X-Division champion will get a world title shot at Destination X this Summer. Hogan makes his way down to the ring now and his hand is all bandaged up (the pics last week were nasty). Before Hogan can get started, Mr. Anderson brings out some of the Aces & Eights. I’m hoping Ken….Mr. Anderson stomps on Hogan’s hand. Anderson talks about how the Aces & Eights are going to steal the show. Hogan says, and I quote, “We’re not afraid of three PUSSIES wearing leather” and he flips Anderson off and tells Bischoff to shut up or he’ll bitch slap him. I never want to hear Hulk Hogan say the word pussy ever again. Hogan then calls Sting the greatest wrestler in this business, and I’ve got my scotch out for a drink. Hogan announces the six-man match will happen now and apparently DOC is out of the match and Anderson is in.
Magnus, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe defeat Aces & Eights (Brisco, Bischoff, Anderson): It’s odd to me that Jeff Hardy comes back to the promotion with little to no fan fare, and in a six-man tag near the start of the show. He’s got a beard now and honestly doesn’t look like he’s eighteen anymore. Plenty of brawling off the start and am I the only one that thinks it’s weird that Aces & Eights don’t take their vests off? Might be me. Anderson is a long time removed from his two TNA World Title victories isn’t he? Hardy is back in top form, just as quick as he normally is and showing no ring rust. Brisco tries his hand with Hardy and gets nowhere either. Bischoff comes in and say what you will about the guy, he can at least take a bump. Here comes Joe and I’m marking out for the big man. I wish he’d drop some weight and get his speed back but I tell you, he’s stiff as hell in the ring and I love it. The Joe-Nus Bros. hit some nice double team work but this is your basic six-man tag. In fact, it could have been just a tag without the addition of Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson. Joe chokes out Anderson on the ramp and Jeff gets the win for his team. Nothing too bad, nothing too good. I’d like to see Joe doing more then this though.
Jeremy Borash is in the back and pimps Twitter before bringing in Joseph Park. I absolutely hate this character and the entire angle. Park rambles on about Boston before being attacked by Devon and Knux. No one comes to help him and Devon and Knux take off, the damage being done.
Jay Bradley defeats Sam Shaw in the Gut Check Tournament Final: So this match is the finals in a tournament, with the prize being a place in the Bound for Glory series (a tournament in itself)….okay. Both men start off like a house of fire with some nice moves but Shaw seems to be the more natural talent of the two. I’m not trying to hate on these guys, but they seriously look like CAW’s from a wrestling game. We hear Bradley has been in the business since 1999, been to Japan and other companies. I like that these two are actually wrestling instead of trying to hit a number of spots. Good wrestling beats a spot-fest any day of the week. Bradley gets the win with the “Boomstick” (lariat). Good little match here, nothing offensive, nothing over the top, the way it should be.
JB in the back again and he brings in Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. I love both of these guys, but for fucks sake they’re being wasted as a tag team. Austin and Roode stick the barbs in each other for a minute before talking about Storm and Gunner.
Devon (c) defeats Joseph Park for the TV Championship via count-out: Devon is out first with Knux, followed by Joey Park. Park’s got some swank saxophone entrance music. Park is a no show so the ref starts the ten count. The ref counts to ten and the ref raises Devon’s hand in victory. Devon cuts another promo saying he would beat Abyss, and of course that brings out Abyss.
Abyss defeats Devon (c) for the TV Championship: Abyss is out taking both men down easily. Devon regains control and the crowd doesn’t seem to excited right now, what gives? Devon has held the TV belt for almost six months, of course you can’t tell that each week because it’s rarely defended….even though it’s the TV championship. I think I heard Abyss yell “Oh shit!” but it could have been Devon. The match is too slow to get excited about, with Abyss hitting almost no offense and Devon being all over him. Abyss finally takes over and wins the TV championship. This was just filler and honestly having Abyss come back could have been done a lot better.
Dixie Carter comes out to announce the next inductee in the TNA Hall of Fame. Could it be Jeff Jarrett? AJ Styles? Hulk Hogan? Ric Flair? I say she inducts herself, just to endear herself to the IWC even more. Dixie brings out the entire roster of wrestlers along with refs and backstage crew. Kurt Angle gets the nod for the Hall of Fame. It was rumored it would be him, something they (TNA) would have over the WWE. Kurt hits the ring and thanks Dixie, and really Kurt’s had a great run in TNA. They show a highlight video but as expected, it’s all TNA footage. Of course, Kurt’s had a great TNA run, he’s won all the titles and had some downright awesome matches, but without his WWE stuff it feels like only half of the story is being told. Kurt deserves the induction, without a doubt. Hopefully, one day he’ll be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Kurt thanks everyone for bringing him into TNA and making him love wrestling again.
Storm & Gunner defeat Chavo & Hernandez (c)/Bad Influence/Aries and Roode for the TNA Tag Team Titles: Bad Influence, probably the best team in TNA right now, is out first. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are out next. I’m sorry, but these guys should be main eventing, not Ray and Sting. No face humping by Aries tonight and I’m sure Christy is happy about that. Gunner and James Storm are out next. Hernandez and Chavo are out last. Hernandez is one of my favorite guys, going all the way back to his days in LAX. Daniels and Chavo start out and we’ve got constant quick action from everyone involved here. This is an elimination match, which I like more then just the one fall stip. Plenty of frequent takes and constant action here, with Bad Influence getting eliminated by DQ (Daniels hit Chavo with the title belt) first. Chavo and Hernandez are then eliminated (Aries pinned Chavo) right after the DQ. Storm is hurt on the outside and Aries and Roode are all over Gunner now. Gunner fights back up and takes out Aries before trying for the tag. Storm finally gets the tag in and Storm is a house of fire on Roode and Aries. More back and forth action and plenty of near falls. Gunner kicks out of the 450 from Aries with Aries then taking the Superkick from Storm and then the torture rack from Gunner and he taps out! Great match here from all four teams.
JB in the back with Brooke Hogan and the crowd is booing the shit out of her. Brooke talks about the knockouts and the Last Knockout Standing match up next. JB asks Brooke about Bully Ray and if she still loves Bully Ray. Brooke starts to get upset and walks off. This was pointless.
Taryn Terrell beats Gail Kim in a Last Knockout Standing match: Taryn Terrell went from referee for the Knockouts to knockout herself. I do question why Mickie James, the Knockouts champion, has the night off. Shouldn’t the title be on the line here? Whatever, let’s get this over with. ODB is the special ref for this match, she’s out first and she’s drinking (much like I am). Gail Kim, probably the best women’s wrestler in the US, is out next. I’m not a fan of women’s wrestling, but I wanna get something positive out of this. A chair comes into play a few seconds in and we’ve got ourselves a fun little match here. Ring post figure-four by Gail and I’m loving it right now! Bret Hart representing! Gail takes herself out by hitting a chair she propped in the corner, and the sound of her head hitting that chair made me cringe. Terrell hits an RKO off the stage onto the mat below and it’s hard not to be impressed with that! That’s at least a five foot drop. Terrell just barely beats the count up, and we had a pretty good match here.
Kurt Angle pins AJ Styles: Kurt Angle is out first with AJ Styles out second, and no I won’t be making any jokes about him being like Sting circa 1997. I do think this should have been AJ’s first match since turning to this “dark side” AJ, rather than a throwaway match on Impact. These two have had plenty of matches over the years, I expect this one to be just as good if no better then the others. AJ has been with the company since the start, and honestly deserves to be in the TNA Hall of Fame more then Kurt Angle. Nice feeling out process to start, and I think AJ can keep up with Kurt in the ring due to his style of offense. AJ is wrestling more like a heel here, heading to the outside to stall but beating the count back in. Kurt’s knee is still hurt and AJ doesn’t have a problem working it over. Angle sticks to wrestling instead of brawling, even though he can do both equally as good. Good back and forth from both guys in this one with AJ taking a nasty overhead suplex into the corner. Angle counters a roll-up to get a quick pin. Angle out wrestled AJ here, and it’s surprising that Angle won considering how hot AJ was after not joining Aces & Eights. Not really sure what TNA is thinking with this move. While the match was not a five-star classic, it was still a great match.
Bully Ray tells the world and Sting that he’s going to beat him with a piledriver, the one move wrestlers don’t use against each other because it can end careers. The recap video plays and the time for the main event is now. Had Sting’s career been on the line, the ending would be predictable. Unlike the last time TNA was on PPV, this one is not as predictable. Sting is out first, looking pretty good for his age as well.
Sting vs. Bully Ray (c) for the World Heavyweight Title: If Sting loses, he never gets another TNA World title shot again. Sting always took pretty good care of himself and never really had a style that would degenerate his body over the years. Bully Ray, your TNA World Champion, is out second. I like that JB comes out for the main event announcement and they introduce both guys once they’re in the ring. Just adds something extra to the presentation. The match starts off quick with Sting all over Bully Ray here. No rules means we’re gonna see some weapons and Sting is WHIPPING Bully Ray with the world title! I love it! Sting is all over Ray here with rights and lefts and dropping Ray at every turn. The crowd is finally alive while Sting continues to whip Ray with the belt. The fight goes outside and Ray finally takes Sting down with a hard lariat on the concrete. Now it’s Ray’s turn to whip Sting with the belt before handing it to Taz. It’s all Bully Ray now and he’s doing plenty of damage with the steps. The crowd calls for tables and Ray is searching for something under the ring but can’t find what he’s looking for. Ray then runs to the back (seriously he ran down the aisle to the back) and comes back out with a chair, I guess that’s what he was looking for. Ray misses a shot with the chair and Sting takes over nailing Ray with the chair a few times in the back and ribs. Brooke Hogan comes out when Sting goes to hit Bully with a chair. She’s cringing with each chair shot and Sting tells her to take a hike. Ray takes the advantage with a low blow and Ray hits the pile driver in the ring but only gets a two count! Ray brings a table in the ring but Sting fights back. Ray powerbombs Sting through the table but Sting still kicks out! Taz hands Ray a pocket knife and Ray starts cutting the ropes that hold the mat down on the ring. He then pulls back the canvas until you can see the wood underneath! Bully Ray then piledrives Sting straight down on the wood! STING KICKED OUT! The crowd is chanting holy shit and even I’m marking out right now! Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop on the wood but the Aces & Eights hit the ring and break up the count. They’re all over Sting but he fights them off and takes Ray down with a chain shot but still can’t get the three-count. Sting takes out Devon to the outside but Ray’s got a hammer. Ray nails Sting as he comes off the top ropes with the hammer and finally gets the three-count! Winner and still TNA World Champion: Bully Ray.
Overall: There was plenty of good stuff here for those that ordered it or were on the fence and want to check out the DVD. Titles changed hands, there were plenty of good matches and the main event wasn’t bad at all. TNA didn’t let me down tonight.