TNA invaded the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, with its Slammiversary pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Sun., June 2, 2013) featuring a main event of Sting challenging Bully Ray for the heavyweight championship in a No Holds Barred match with the added stipulation that if the Stinger lost, he would never be able to challenge for the strap again.
To check out the live blog for the show click here. Let's jump right into reactions:
- Chris Sabin is going to get a heavyweight title shot at Destinaton X? They're going to continue that tradition? Austin Aries was legitimately ready for the main event, and definitely should have won the heavyweight title but Sabin is so far from that it's barely worth mentioning.
- I'm certainly not against cursing. I do quite a bit of it here on Cageside, oftentimes to the point that someone will come along and point out how many times I use the word "shit" in a column. I'm an adult and it's the language I choose to use because I like it. It's that simple. That said, what the hell was going on with Hogan calling everyone a "bitch" last night? And now that he referenced Eric Bischoff specifically, how long until he's revealed as the higher power?
- I enjoyed the six-man tag match. Nothing fancy and the booking was mostly predictable but the choas was fun and the crowd was hot for Jeff Hardy returning. Naturally, he's the one who got the pin for the win. It should be noted, though, that Wes Brisco failed miserably -- twice -- trying to sell the Twist of Fate.
- I feel about Jay Bradley's face the way Randy felt about Brennan's in Step Brothers. His name also makes me think of this every time I hear it.
- Devon's logic is amazing: He can beat the shit out of the referee and TNA can't do anything about it as long as he has yet to ring the bell for an official match. So unless employees are actively doing their job, they're subject to vicious beatings. Got it.
- The set up for Abyss taking Joseph Park's place was fine, I guess, but Devon being the guy to bring him up just so he could come out for the match was a little lame. I guess they can have an impromptu match just for the hell of it, too, which led to a title change. So, yeah, that's cool. It is the TV title, though.
- Kurt Angle is as good a choice as any for the Hall of Fame, though I'm wondering what the hell is going on with Jeff Jarrett.
- Legitimately surprised with Gunner and James Storm winning the tag team titles but will say Gunner has never looked better than he has standing alongside Storm. He might actually have something of a future in a tag team like this, though it represents a bit of a step back for Storm. And that's fine, because TNA bungled his big singles run. Time to let him do his thing in the tag division again so they can reload and fire another shot later on.
- The Gun Rack is a terrible name for a finisher. I love the Torture Rack both as a finisher and as a name for a finisher. Use it, but don't kill it with the name.
- Brooke Hogan is still totally in love with Bully Ray, you guys.
- Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell tore the house down. That was an outstanding match, super fun, and Kim absolutely put Terrell over. This was outstanding in every single way possible. Good wrestling, some high spots, a holy shit moment or two, and good booking. Incredible work all around.
- That belly to belly Kurt Angle landed on AJ Styles in the corner was awesome. Also enjoyed the "calf killer," as Mike Tenay called it, getting countered into the Ankle Lock. Props to the Boston crowd for really getting into not just this match but every match on the card. These two work well together, but I wasn't over the top enthused with what they were doing last night. It was good, but I've struggled to connect with AJ's new character and the finish looked a bit awkward.
- Bully's promo before the main event did more to sell me on the match than anything that was on TV the past few weeks. I understand holding your good stuff back until the end, but maybe put that on TV next time. It was really good. Calling for the piledriver, then using it multiple times to great effect is something we need more of. Also, that little staredown he had with the police officer on his way to the ring is why he's such a treat to watch these days.
- "You still got it" chants at Sting? You did so good all night, Boston. First of all, that chant should never be used for an active wrestler and definitely not one like Sting, who very clearly does not still have it.
- I hope you didn't expect anything different from that main event, because it delivered pretty much exactly what it advertised. An ugly, overbooked brawl featuring a high spot or two that would have to carry the load completely. It didn't, though, not really, and the expected interference from Aces and 8s with absolutely no one from TNA helping Sting was an odd bit of booking. If the entire company was really on the line and Hogan was "betting the farm" on Sting winning here, where the hell were the reinforcements? That part didn't make sense, but Sting shouldn't have won the belt here anyway, so it worked out fine.
I enjoyed this show. Plenty of great wrestling, the booking was solid, and the crowd was hot for the entire evening.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on last night's show. Did you like it as much as I did?