TNA Slammiversary feedback and CHIKARA feedback

OVerall thumbs up and best show this year (so far)
Best Match: Styles/Angle and (I can't believe im saying this) Kim/Terrell
Worst Match: Gut Check
Crowd Notes: might have been setup for 5000 (~6400 original capacity) 3 sections on cam side were tarped (one section was camera stuff) so maybe 3500-4000 but im not good at that kind of guessing stuff.  People around me teared up at the Angle Video tribute and HOF speech. Biggest pop was a tie between Angle or Hogan (although Sabin got a very loud reaction even before Hogan came out). Hogan's speech was great putting over Boston crazy.  BTW there was a guy dressed in full Macho Man (slim jim era) gear which is why people chanted for Macho man during the show. The Don West replacement guy is terrible but JB is great at the show hocking stuff.
Match Notes: Ultimate X was a fun opener and the right guy won (don't know how they put it over on commentary but hope they mentioned or alluded to Sabin's 2 year quest for the title)
6 Man tags are usually always fun and Hogan amping up the crowd for all 3 guys helped it a lot but Joe actually was over Huge in Boston (so was Aries/Daniels so i guess some "smarter" fans in the crowd tonight) and his best ability is his availability and Wes Briscoe was available today and that's all i'll say
Gut Check was the bathroom break match and it sucked Shaw has potential and some charisma in the ring but Bradley is a decent worker with no real charisma (or at least what can be passed off at a main event level)
Abyss match was alright big pop for abyss even though everyone seemed to know what was gonna happen
HOF ceremony announcement was great the video felt like a movie trailer or something the wwe would put together.  Loud "Thank you Angle" chants cut Dixie off mid speech which wasn't necessary
4 Way was creative and did a good job of pushing Gunner/Storm as a unit but I don't think they should've won their first match as a team and bonus points for Bad Influence (daniels notably) for putting over how sought after the belts are now since they won them originally.
Kim vs. Terrell WAY over delivered I actually missed the finishing spot because people had been standing for the last 5 minutes or so of the match and i thought they both died but on the replay it didn't look as scary as it seemed.
AJ/Kurt was a slightly different match than they've had before but was also great and the finish did come out of nowhere.  For what it's worth I like AJ's music and people did buy the second calf slicer as the finish.  Split crowd from what i heard for AJ but mostly heel
Bully vs. Sting Crowd popped for the piledriver promo even though it was out of nowhere but it did a good job of putting over the fact that sting didn't want to give it up and had a lot more in him than he normally would.  People were expecting a Brooke turn when she came out but we were Swerved!! For what it's worth Bully is the most over heel in the company right now which he should be as the heel world champ so they at least got that right
Before the show Dixie carter had a line that stretched from the stage area all the way to where Aces & 8's come out for about an hour and took photos with fans and God bless her she signed and snapped photos with every last one of them. If TNA were to ever come back to the area I would definitely buy tickets even if it's for a house show or TV taping

Alexander Assetta

Best Match: The Colony vs. Devastation Corporation
Worst Match: Gavin Loudspeaker vs. Tim Donst (though it told a really good story)
I have a feeling many people will write in and complain heavily about the non-finish to the Chikara iPPV, where Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur ordered his security detail to tear down the set and order everyone out of the building, just as Icarus was about to defeat Eddie Kingston for the Grand Championship. However, given I'm a regular fan of the promotion, and have been following both the recent rumours and the underlying storyline, I was expecting something huge and strange to happen, and that's exactly what happened. The one thing that may play against it is that it's not an every week promotion, and their next show is not scheduled for another seven weeks - plus they're not selling tickets for any upcoming shows they have listed. So people who aren't regular fans may be confused as to what's going to develop past this, or if there'll be any more shows. But as I follow Chikara online, I'll know what's going on, and that will keep me intrigued to see what happens past all this.
As for the show, the Colony/Devastation Corporation match was fantastic, about ****1/2. Fire Ant and Green Ant were especially great in the match, and the Devastation Corporation, who I believe are still relative rookies, were amazing bases for them. 3.0/Pieces of Hate was another really good match, and there was a great pre-show match between Mr. Touchdown and Saturyne. Eddie Kingston and Icarus was getting really good as well before what happened at the end. Amasis/Ophidian was good too, but the match went 30 minutes, a good 10/15 minutes longer than it should have gone, and if it wasn't for the creative finish, I'd have soured on it.
I'd say it was a very enjoyable iPPV, and I'd suggest people should buy it, even with the finish, especially as it will set the stage for the rest of the season and beyond... if there even is a Chikara after all this.
Martin Bentley

Thumbs Up

Best Match: The Colony Vs Devastation Corporation
Worst Match: Gavin Loudspeaker Vs Tim Donst

Hi Dave, I remember you once mentioned how wrestling reviews are oftened skewed on how the show ends. People can be positive towards a bad show with a decent main event and they can be negetive towards a good show that ends with a screwjob finish. I guess the angle Chikara pulled off tonight will be the perfect example of that theory.

The big angle where Chikara's unlikeable owner pulls the plug on the show right as the newly-turned babyface Icarus was about to win the championship is a pay-off to a long, detailed storyline that has been slowly developing for at least the last year. I liked the ending as a major cliffhanger to Chikara not just for their season but for the company as a whole. However I do see how the ending infuriated many who watched it.

Chikara contains the same faults as the comic books they take inspiration from. Their major storylines become too grand in scope and often intimidate all but the hardcore members of their fanbase. Their decision to have Derek Sabato reveal "company secrets" on Twitter during the Tag Team Championship match distracted many online from seeing a really good 2/3 Falls match between 3.0 and Pieces of Hate. However, when their storylines work they work well. Despite being the weakest match of the night when it came to the in-ring action, the story of Tim Donst versus the ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker got over and made it an entertaining match. Amasis Vs Ophidian in the Sarcophagus Casket Match also relied heavily on the history between both wrestlers and even though it went too long I was satisfied with the conclusion of the match and the feud.

With all that said, the match everybody should see is the 6-Man Tag bout between The Colony and the Devastation Corporation. The idea of Luchador ants fighting Demolition knock-offs may sound too silly to take seriously, but it was a match filled with chaos and delivered more than anybody expected. This match is worth the iPPV price no matter how the rest of the card turned out.

There were problems with lighting and production that hampered the iPPV somewhat and these are problems Chikara has avoided in the past. But as someone who has followed the company for years and has dug deep into the rabbit hole that is their storylines, I enjoyed the iPPV a lot. None of the matches were bad. It was crazy, it was hectic and it feels like there are plenty of changes on the way.

Jamie O'Doherty

Thumbs way up on this show. The matches were all "good" quality or better except the gut check match. I enjoyed the show overall.
Best match - AJ vs Kurt
Worst match - Shaw vs Bradley
The main event was WAY overbooked, and they ran through several good ideas for finishes in one night, but the finish they used was right for storyline.
The knockouts match overdelivered, which made up for a less-than-amazing tag title match (hey, they can't all be five star matches every time out).
Some weird moments -- what the heck fell on Sabin and busted him open after the X match? why did Abyss get a title shot? why did Gunner kill the 450 spot? -- but those were outpaced by good stories, a great Boston crowd, and hard work from most everyone involved.
This show got me excited for whatever they will do this summer to put on a Destination X show (maybe a TV special?) and has me actually sad that the next TNA PPV is so far away. A year ago I never would have thought that I'd feel liek that after a TNA show.
Michael Bernstein

Thumbs in the middle.
Best match: Gail Kim-Taryn Terrell
Worst match: Devon-Abyss
Gail Kim is the best women's wrestler in North America. That may come off as faint praise but she took a match I thought would be complete crap and made it if not Match of the Night at the very least pretty damn close and one of the highlights of the show. Taryn Terrell did a good job as well. Amazing what you can be when you're not over annunciating on ECW. She ran into the chair and ring post and then landed on the floor like a bull. When you can't hear the ref count because the crowd is chanting THIS IS AWESOME!, that's a good thing.
Outside of the Ultimate X match, it was slow going til they hit the tag title match which was halfway into the PPV. Sabin will be a perfectly fine title match for Bully Ray on Impact. What the hell was up with Hogan's promo? Congrats to TNA on making the right choice for their Hall of Fame and putting in Angle before Hogan or anyone else available.
Solid tag match. Now that they have 4 tag teams they can have 2 separate tag team programs which is probably for the best considering how good the tag scene is now. Daniels won Promo of the Night. Still don't understand why they don't take Brisco & Bischoff or Doc & Knux and install them into the tag scene. Throw in a couple teams of jobbers and they can take a good division and make it great. 
Angle and Styles unfortunately followed the women but still did a pretty good match. Surprised Angle won but Styles can still win the Bound for Glory Series and get his win back versus Angle there I guess. I suppose it's because tonight was his Hall of Fame induction night. The main event was overgimmicked as hell but that's what you expect. Tearing up the ring at least was inventive, but you'd think Bully Ray would've won with the piledriver. The Aces & Eights interference in the middle with Doc, Knux, and the 2 youngsters could've done without but that's their gimmick. Good crowd for the show throughout.
Ryan Day.

I give it Thumbs in the Middle.
Best Match: Angle vs. Styles
Worst Match: Devon vs. Abyss
Angle/Styles was an awesome match as I expected it to be. You can always mark these guys down for four stars out of five if they get that much time. That spot off the top rope where Styles backflipped to avoid a suplex and then Angle suplexed him into the turnbuckle was awesome. The counter wrestling is what made it really stand out. I think in terms of the storyline it would have helped Styles more if he got the win. I'm not sure what the direction is going to be with him long term. Angle doesn't need wins. In the end it doesn't matter, but I thought a Styles win would have meant more for him.
I thought Ray would retain the title. It's too soon to take it off him. Overbooked like usual. That's what TNA does in main events far too often. What's sad is that earlier in the show you had these TNA guys working together to beat the Aces & Eights yet in the main event there's no help for Sting when he has to deal with the attack of many men.
On Thursday, Hogan's going to go out there saying they have to work together to stop A&8 even though nobody helped Sting when he needed it. Where's Hardy, Joe, Magnus and the other faces that always talk about trying to stop A&8? It's silly. It makes the babyfaces look dumb. You can at least have them come out, have the heels dispatch them and then have Bully win. By booking it like this they basically said Sting has no friends and the babyfaces in the company are all idiots. One of those idiots will probably beat Bully Ray for the World Title in four months. Hopefully they know how to book that right.

I don't know what Wes Brisco was doing in the 6 man tag. I thought he did well in his matches with Angle in the past, but he couldn't sell Hardy's Twist of Fate here and they did a spot where he tried to pin Magnus even though he wasn't legal. That was the finish? Odd. And why is Hardy wrestling in a match that means so little? He needs to be higher up the card. Odd booking for him.
Kim/Terrell was awesome. That spot where she went into the chair was outstanding and she sold it perfectly. Terrell did a good job of putting up a fight and showing she belonged too. That spot off the ramp onto the floor was very unique and memorable. It was a big win for Terrell. I liked how it was booked. I imagine that Terrell becomes the top contender to Knockouts Champion Mickie James, who is in the midst of a heel turn.
I think it was too soon to put the tag titles on Storm/Gunner. Why not build it up for Bound for Glory? Still an entertaining matchup, though. 
The show was okay, but if you missed it I don't think you missed that much. With only 4 PPVs in the year I hope they could do better than this.
John Canton
London, Ontario

Dave --
Got off a plane, went to my hotel room and ordered Slammiversary. Ii was pretty disappointed TNA does not allow you to start the show at the beginning -- a la ROH. Kind of lame when it's on TNA OnDemand. 
Only saw the last three matches. The knockouts match was one of the better American women's bouts I've seen in recent memory. Good stuff there. I can't recall the WWE Divas getting that kind of pop in years.
Angle-Styles was very good. Not great. A couple of very nice moments. But I feel like Angle just isn't coming across as good as he used too. This tweener thing is almost as stale as Aces and 8s. It's amazing Angle can still go like he can. He's still one of the best in the business.
Main Event was fine. I don't recall the "tear up the ring" spot being used before. So that was a nice touch. Finish was exactly what I expected with the interference, and I know that wasn't a bold prediction. 
The crowd seemed very hot from what I saw. Not sure about the financial aspect, but TNA comes across much, much better on the road.
Mike Trask
Las Vegas


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