This was my first live PPV/show ever for TNA, I thought it was good, but not great. However the crowd made it that much better!
Standout moments for me were: the X-division title match, The woman’s match ( I never heard “this is awesome” during a woman’s wrestling match ever) so that was cool… Kurt Angle being inducted. The 8 man tag match I thought had the best rhythm/ flow, very fun live. I thought Angle/Styles was good and was the most anticipated match that I wanted to see.. I thought the main event told a great story, but I knew Sting wasn’t going to win with TNA previously showing many “Sting highlights” on the jumbo- tron during the night. I felt that was somewhat of a “hint” or a “tip off hat” so to speak to Stings career. Lots of great chants during the night, a guy in the crowd was dressed like the “cowboy hat” Randy Savage and Hogan gave him a shout-out early in the show.. People were singing Fandangos theme song as most of the crowd exited the building.. I give it a thumbs up, C+ .
Dave, I was there live six rows back on the floor. Before I get to the matches, I want to talk about meeting Dixie Carter. We walk to our seats and see Dixie Carter taking pictures with fans. She shakes our hand and thanks us for coming. We then got on line for a picture as we realized they were free. We took individual pictures, and then she wanted us to take a group shot with her. She thanked us again because I told her we drove four hours to the show. She is a really classy lady, took pictures for an hour with fans, makes them feel welcomed.
The crowd was hot for Sabin in the opener, but King got a few chants from the smarter crowd towards the end of the match. This was an awesome opener, and had some great spots. All three guys did a good job, even Suicide as I hadn't seen much of the new person playing Suicide now. Crowd went nuts for Hogan, and was chanting his name, we stayed chanting Sabin. It was a cool moment for Hulk Hogan to come out and put over the title shot. Not sure if he was supposed to say Destination X, but it could be an Impact special.
The Hogan promo went over big with the crowd towards the Aces & 8s. Crowd was into this, and Joe received a lot of chants for him. But Hardy was over big too. Lots of action and crowd was popping big for Joe's chokehold on the stage.
There was a small Abyss chant when Joseph Park got attacked. A lot of people saw it coming that it would be Abyss.
Missed the Gut Check match went on line.
Devon and Abyss should have been a bigger deal. The problem was that they dragged it on too long, Abyss should have come out at the count of 9. Wasn't a bad match, wasn't good either, it was cool seeing Abyss again.
The Kurt Angle induction was the loudest the arena got all night. Angle was in tears during the video, and the chants go so loud I couldn't hear what Dixie was saying. Crowd loved Angle, and the video/promo was great by him.
The tag team title match was good, and it was smart taking it off Chavo/Hernandez. They came out to more boos then cheers. Aries got a lot of chants during this match. James Storm got hurt during this match. Hebner threw up the X sign, and Storm didn't go out through the stage. He came around the stage right where we were sitting, and went in another way with a security guard helping him. Was a good match, and I liked the different fights in and out of the ring during it.
The women's match I almost went to get food in, and I'm glad i didn't. Easily the match of the night, and there were 3-5 holy shit chants during it. The spot was right in front of us for the finish. Kim needed extra assistance to get to the back. That was one of the best women's matches I have seen since Trish/Lita on the Raw main event. Just a excellent performance, and Kim got a standing ovation going to the back.
AJ/Kurt started off slow, but picked up easily. Another good match. The crowd was winded in the beginning of the match from the women's match, but still loved the back and forth. AJ Styles was just as over as Kurt during this match with the chants. Not as good as their others, but was a great match.
Bully vs Sting was just a brawl, and the crowd was into it. I don't know if they showed this on tv, but Bully ran backstage to get a chair during the match and came back out. ECW chant came out when Bubba ripped up the ring. Finish was ok, but the piledriver spots were good.
Overall I got my money's worth. They do a deal where you get four shirts for 20 dollars. They're old shirts, but we got RVD, Hardy, Mickie James, and the Pope. I will definitely go again to a ppv if they're within driving distance. I went to Wrestlemania this year too and this was just as good as that.
- Dan Ballou
BIG thumbs up
Best match: Gail vs. Taryn
Worst match: Bradley vs. Shaw
I never thought I'd say, "Damn, I sure hope Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles can follow that Knockouts match." But tonight, I did just that. Slammiversary was the best top-to-bottom PPV I've seen in a long, long time.
Ultimate X was the perfect opener, though that was a pretty short chase for Sabin. Not sure if I would have pulled the trigger on the title change that fast because a) There were two other title changes on the PPV, and b) A three-way "Ultimate X" is the perfect environment for a heel champion to sneak a victory while protecting the other two guys. That said, it lit up the crowd and Sabin is one of the best XD champions in history. All three guys looked great.
I was dreading the worst when Hogan came out, but he actually put over Sabin and the "Destination X" gimmick well. I did want to see him do the Hogan pose with his bandaged hand but I guess I'm just weird like that.
The six-man tag was fine for what it was. Nothing special, but everyone got their stuff in and played a part.
The Gut Check match was filler, but it was short and to the point. They gave Shaw enough so it wasn't a squash, and Bradley got some mic time to start building the BFG series. This only gets the "worst match" nod because the rest of the card was so good.
Devon vs. The Brothers Park was an entertaining little match/angle. Predictable, but well done. Devon has always had strong mic skills and I'm intrigued to see where the "Dr. Park and Mr. Abyss" thing goes. Abyss is an awesome monster, but the Joseph Park character is a hoot. I actually hope they keep both characters around for as long as they can. As a longtime fan, I even find myself enjoying the tradition that no two wrestling promotions have ever agreed on what exactly is the difference between a "Television Title" and every other damn title laying around.
Dixie Carter isn't exactly a polished TV performer, but her gratitude to the TNA fans always comes off as genuine and tonight especially, she has every right to be proud of her crew. Announcing Kurt Angle for the Hall Of Fame was an awesome "feel good" moment in a business that doesn't have enough of them.
The Bad Influence is the best heel tag team since Edge & Christian, and they're a big part of why I started watching TNA again. They never fail to crack me up. The four-way Tag Team Title match was well done. Again, everyone got a moment in the spotlight and there were no weak links. I would have put the straps on TBI, but that's just because I'm biased as hell.
Brooke Hogan is to acting what Hulk Hogan is to radiator maintenance.
Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell not only stole the show, it was a game-changer. For the life of me, I can't remember watching a better womens/divas/knockouts match on PPV ever. Far as I'm concerned, Gail cemented her legacy as the best woman wrestler in American history, while tonight simply made Taryn's career. It was so bizarre listening to people in the room as our opinion about Taryn improved with each spot. Within minutes, it went from "She's just another pretty face" to "Well, she is trying" to "Damn, this girl has a serious work ethic" to "HOLY FUCKING SHIT, TARYN IS AWESOME!!" (My friends and I swear a lot.) An outstanding balls-to-the-wall (figure of speech, and they earned it) match that I highly recommend people check out.
Did anyone else notice that Christy Hemme screwed up A.J.'s intro and unlike Austin Aries, A.J. didn't teabag her in a corner? Not sure if I respect A.J. more or less for that. Aries deserved to get punished for putting his employer in a bad position, but Hemme is an awful ring announcer who screws up as badly and consistently as Michael Buffer did - and that's saying something. Pay her off, get her to sign a waiver, and get her the hell off TV. "World Tag Team Champions of the world," my ass.
Anyway, Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles was pretty much the only match that could have followed the Knockouts, and they did so quite well with an expectedly great match. The ankle-lock-into-calf-killer-and-back-again stuff was magic. The finish kind of came out of nowhere, but it worked with the guys being so evenly matched. It seems like they're building Angle to be the next TNA hero fed to Bully Ray.
Speaking of which, Bully vs. Sting was a fun brawl. I loved the piledriver aspect, as not only did it literally explain what was so special and dangerous about a "no holds barred" match, but it gave fans a spot to watch for. It was also a nice touch to have Taz talk about having his neck broken by a piledriver in 1995. (By the way, all three announcers were outstanding all night, especially Taz as the obnoxious A&8 cheerleader. Mike Tenay was fantastic in gloating with each TNA win, and Todd Keneley was great as the straight man trying to call a show in spite of all the chaos.) The "no-more-World-Title-shots" stipulation worked in that it's just believable enough that they might actually stick to it and Sting doesn't need the belt at this point anyway. Plus, it will further the tension between Sting and Hogan. Unless there was something I missed, it was a serious logic flaw was why the TNA locker room didn't come to Sting's aid when A&8 swarmed the ring. Especially since they all came out just to clap for Angle an hour prior.
The only thing about the PPV I hated was the part where Bully Ray used a knife to cut up the ring and pull out the GIANT SOFT FLUFFY FOAM PADS from between the canvas and the wooden planks. I'm all for safer wrestling conditions, but this literally pulled back the curtain way too much. I was slightly less annoyed at the fact that after taking three "life threatening" piledrivers, Sting finally backdropped out of the fourth attempt. I guess that's the new version of Ric Flair's chops having no effect or the inexplicable roll-onto-your-stomach-to-reverse-a-figure-four thing. I'm a big Sting mark, but I've never understood the rules governing his superpowers. Probably for the best.
A very strong show with a must-see Knockouts match. I will be buying this DVD.
Las Vegas, NV
P.S. The last time I saw a knife that big on live PPV, it led to the single greatest paragraph in WON history - Recapping Tank Abbott vs. Big Al in a "skins match" at Superbrawl 2000.