In recent years, TNA Wrestling treaded a thin line in terms of keeping its promotion alive. With radical spending, irrational storylines, sporadic character turns, and meaningless title changes, TNA Wrestling was creating the same mistakes as WCW did in its final years. Then something happened, the spending slowed down, the storylines became more coherent, the characters haven’t turned as much, the championships are being defended with longer title reigns (including three record-breaking reigns), and, most importantly, TNA has a roster filled with some of the best talents in the world.
On top of that, TNA Wrestling have attempted a few fan interaction concepts, made the decision to go live for the duration of the summer, and even announced a Hall of Fame (ceremony to take place at Bound for Glory). Right now TNA Wrestling is in a great state to reach new heights, which is great for the wrestlers involved and the wrestling fans that choose to support it through the good times and bad.
Congrats to TNA Wrestling on making 10 years.
Now here’s a couple of notes from Sunday’s Slammiversary:
Hulk Hogan devised a dream match between X Division champion Austin Aries and Samoa Joe to kick off Slammiversary. He also did the fans one better by bending the X Division weight limit rule; a sign of respect based on Samoa Joe’s past history as X Division champion. Which was nice, but the title didn’t have to be on the line because Aries and Joe–two ROH Legends–was all the fans needed to be invested.
While Samoa Joe has been away from the main event picture for the last couple of years, THIS match showcased what experts had once proclaimed that Joe would revolutionize the wrestling business. After defending his title in a classic match, Austin Aries stated in a backstage interview that it’s time that he main events. A word of advice to TNA Entertainment higher-ups, it’s time for both Aries and Joe to main event TNA Wrestling.
For over 470 days, Crimson had been undefeated in singles competition. Wrestling fans mockingly compared him to Goldberg in regards to the unbeaten streak. Goldberg was infamous in WCW for his streak but Crimson surpassed it. Then again, you have to consider the caliber of competition that the two men faced. Let’s face it, there is only one Goldberg (And no, he’s not currently wrestling under the name Ryback).
470+ days is only but a faint memory now as James Storm returned to prove a point: to prove to himself and the wrestling fans that he still has that fire within him to compete at a main event level.
In a future post entitled “Faded Glory” TBA, the WWE Alumni of Impact Wrestling will be seen in a slight cynical light. But at Slammiversary, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, and the new number one contender Mr. Anderson proved that they can deliver a show stealing match anywhere on the wrestling card.
Then the shocker of the night (at least for me) was seeing the Instant Classic Christian Cage (still under contract with WWE, and still Intercontinental champion) make a special appearance. The IMPACT fans voted Christian crossing the line over to TNA as one of the Top 10 moments in TNA history, and Christian was asked to introduce the number 1 moment. Christian’s return may have been for one of two reasons: (the obvious one) WWE was returning the favor for TNA allowing Ric Flair to appear at its Hall of Fame ceremony; or WWE was trying to appease TNA on their recent lawsuit. Either way, it’s the wrestling fans that come out winning.
While Chikara Pro decided to introduce a World title belt at its 10 year anniversary, TNA Wrestling announced its first inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame. Dixie Carter announced Sting as the first inductee, very well deserved. Although Sting humbly wrote on Twitter (prior to Slammiversary) that he would not want to be the first inductee, Hulk Hogan said it best, he doesn’t know how good he actually is.
Having the hometown advantage hasn’t always meant success (just ask James Storm), but for Brooke Tessmacher, she made every second count and became the new Knockouts champion. Along with the TNA Heavyweight and X Division champions, Gail Kim set the record for the longest Knockouts championship reign.
If there was one word to describe the TNA World Tag Team match… it would be phenomenal. AJ Styles was thrown into a nightmare of controversy involving a possible relation with Dixie Carter. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels, who have proven to work well as a cohesive team, kept trying to get the psychological advantage, but what they were not counting on was the repercussions of interfering in Kurt Angle’s matches.
From Kurt Angle almost breaking the tag champions backs in half with a ruthless series of German suplexes, to Styles’ holy sh*t moonsault off the top rope to land on Daniels on the concrete, this match was one for the history books. So while Aries and Joe was a dream match, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles are the Dream Team, and new Tag Team champions.
Then of course Bobby Roode retained the TNA Heavyweight championship through nefarious means. Stinger could have made June 10, 2012 the greatest night of his life but instead he settled for some much-needed vendetta as he suplexed Roode on the ramp and dropped him off the stage with the Scorpion Death Drop. Very insane of The Icon, but again, Roode deserves everything he gets.
Side note: Was that the first time that the announcer’s booth was utilized for a match?
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