Photo of the awesome Austin Aries via ImpactWrestling.com.
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling broke away from the Impact Zone last night (Sun., June 10, 2012) to hold its Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV) event in Arlington, Texas, in front of a hot crowd.
Let's get to reactions to the show:
- TNA has this habit of making its weekly television show, Impact, almost unbearable, and then turning around and bringing it hard on pay-per-view (PPV). That held true again last night, as I found Slammiversary to be an entertaining three hours that I in no way regretting watching. Sure, it had its low points but nothing is perfect and I don't think it will get too much better than what they put together last night. Bravo.
- There should be a clause written in to Austin Aries and Samoa Joe's contracts that says they have to wrestle each other at least once on PPV no more than three months apart. That match last night was main event caliber between two talented workers, particularly Aries, whose workrate is unmatched at present time.
- Sting didn't win the belt last night. He still went over Bobby Roode but he didn't win the belt. I worry TNA is losing sight of keeping Roode strong as we count down to Bound for Glory and the inevitable James Storm title victory. Belts are meant to be given to a star who can help carry the company. A major part of that, however, is keeping the heel champion strong so it puts the babyface challenger over that much more when he prevails. TNA has some work to do to get Roode to that point just yet.
- Storm, on the other hand, was reintroduced in the best way possible. Crimson's undefeated streak wasn't much more than a running joke at this point and, when you think about it, severely hampered what TNA could do with him. He didn't even look committed to pushing his "streak." And because a rising star wouldn't get a big rub from ending it, the correct decision was to have Storm establish himself strongly again. He looked awesome in there, too.
- Making Sting the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame was fine. The company has given him nothing less than the world since he first put pen to paper on a contract. No reason to think that won't continue until he finally decides to hang them up, which should be soon. His workrate, which was never really all that special to begin with, has declined drastically since his heyday. I'm as big a fan of Sting as the next guy but he shouldn't be main eventing PPVs in 2012.
- AJ Styles and Kurt Angle winning the tag team championships feels like a precursor to a feud between the two sometime soon after they split. And we've seen that enough times that the thought of which is painful. I've never been crazy about Styles and I found it odd they didn't advance the storyline with Dixie Carter cheating on her husband with him. Save that for Impact, I guess.
- I won't be talking about Garrett Bischoff or Mr. Anderson here. They're both too terrible for words.
- Bully Ray once again deserves applause for his work in this storyline with Abyss/Joseph Park. That match last night dragged in spots but he got Park over despite the obvious limitations of the character. I thought they handled the switch fairly well when it came time for Abyss to show up, as well. I'm not altogether crazy about this storyline but "the monster" Abyss character is far less interesting than the Joseph Park character. I might even be sad when he goes away. Really, though, Ray is doing his best work and it's a pleasure to get to watch it.
- Gail Kim is good, Brooke Tessmacher is not.
- Christian's appearance was handled relatively well, though it seemed odd all they wanted him for was to introduce a video package of the number one moment in TNA history being Sting's return to the company in 2006. Perhaps they just wanted to swerve the Internet and make them think Christian was the first inductee into the Hall of Fame, I don't know. But he didn't say much of anything and he hardly got much of a pop at all. It actually made him look small time to go to TNA and hardly get the reaction of a big star from the much bigger company he was coming from.
- It would have been awesome if he flipped the script and just started shooting on everyone, though, wouldn't it have? I'm talking Scott Steiner, swan dive into the asphalt type shooting. Too bad.
Overall, this show gets a solid B+ from me. All around solid work and only the Mr. Anderson's victory soured me throughout the night, and that's just because I think he's terrible at everything he does. He could literally work the opposite of Chris Jericho's gimmick. "I am the worst in the world at everything I do."
What did you Cagesiders think of Slammiversary last night? As impressed with it as I was?