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TNA Slammiversary 2016 Results & Review: Bobby Said Knock You Out

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TNA Slammiversary aired live last night (June 12, 2016) from Orlando, Florida with their first major pay-per-view (PPV) of 2016. Let’s see how they did.

Victim of the Stipulation

Bobby Lashley def. Drew Galloway to win the TNA Title

The knockout/tap out stipulation may have done this match a bit of a disservice. The knockout portion of the match meant they needed to stand up before a 10 count. These kinds of matches often take a more plodding pace as one man stands around for 8 or 9 seconds until his opponent stands up.

While these two did their best to avoid that, the flow of the match seemed wonky at times because of the longer pauses of an attempted 10 count. To their credit, they'd often decide not to wait for it and go at each other some more to try to alleviate that. Plus removing moments of close near falls removes the added excitement that will bring to matches.

The match had a very exciting finish. Drew Galloway set up a table outside, placed Lashley on it, went into the ring, and the big man jumped over the top rope onto the table. Unfortunately for him, Lashley moved out of the way. In one of those moments where Lashley didn't just go for a 10 count, he starts delivering some punches to the head of the champ before getting into the ring to await his victory.

At the count of 9, Drew quickly stands up, bleeding from the forehead, looking utterly pissed. He gets into the ring, full of fire, but Lashley locks in a crossface. Drew fights out and delivers a Tombstone Piledriver to the Destroyer and both men are down. Galloway is up first and sets up for the Claymore kick, the same move he opened the match with, but Lashley avoids it and hooks in a front choke and the champ passes out.

It was a great final sequence, especially with that fire of Galloway that the Scot is so good at portraying. The flow of the match suffered a bit from the stipulation, but it maintained a big fight feel and ended with a really great sequence.

Trying to recreate that ridiculous magic

Jeff Hardy def. Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match

The most appealing part of this feud between Broken Matt and Brother Nero is the story and how they are taking ridiculous and making it entertaining. That is something that is always going to be hard to convey during a match where two guys try to beat each other up and get a pinfall.

If there is any match where they can try to keep that ball rolling, it’s a Full Metal Mayhem match where anything goes and objects are a staple. There was some fun character stuff from Matt Hardy. He had new piano entrance music, ditching the “ICONIC Matt Hardy” music for music more fitting to his new character. His family is also Broken, with both Reby AND Maxel wearing outfits matching Matt’s broken outfit. Small details like that are why Matt Hardy is getting his money’s worth (and ours) out of this gimmick.

He tried to play it up during the match. When he was controlling the match, he’d continually bite Jeff, which isn’t something he would do before falling off the deep end. The most ridiculous spot was when Matt produced a frickin’ synthesizer keyboard from under the ring, propped it up against the ring and a guard rail, and powerbombed his brother through it. #KeyboardMatt indeed.

That is the type of spot that fits the Director’s Cut contract signing that got this feud the buzz. But there’s only so much that can be done like that in any match. Jeff did his thing and hit some fun spots, winning with a Swanton off the top rope onto Matt, who was positioned on a table on the floor. He never did a spot that would beat Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, but honestly, he shouldn't be doing those spots. Neither should Shane. Or really anyone.

The match wasn’t bad and there were moments of the aspect of Broken Matt/Brother Nero that we loved, but it was never going to be possible to fully recreate what they did on a pre-tape without filming the entire match on Matt’s front yard. And because of that, it’d never really live up to the hype that they built based on the outrageous. The match was OK for what it was, but it’s the fallout with Matt’s character that I look forward to much more.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

EC3 def. Mike Bennett

Despite the crowd not feeling the prior three matches, they immediately came alive for this match. That's a testament to telling a story and establishing characters that the fans already have attachment to before the bell even rings. The crowd was alive in the beginning and they were into it the entire time.

This had a big fight feel and both men unleashed everything they had on each other. To defeat his demon of Mike Bennett and avenge the pinfall loss that the Miracle gave him, Carter was going to have to overcome everything the Miracle could throw at him and more. He overcame Maria’s interference and the Miracle In Progress he took from Bennett on a steel chair because of it. He found a way past the moment he locked in a Cobra Clutch and The Miracle grabbed the ref and hit a mule kick low blow on Ethan.

And the best part is he overcome the fact that Mike Bennett is a man on his level. Bennett stood toe-to-toe with EC3 long before he needed to grab the referee or needed his wife to bail him out. He even kicked out of the One Percenter, something I don’t think anyone had ever done before. Carter may have finally gotten his win over Mike Bennett, but Bennett looked really great in the match doing so. This match was an example of elevating both the winner and the loser.

This may have been the best match of the night. It was propped up by a well-told story before the match started and stayed up because these guys threw everything they had at each other in a fight that may have felt bigger than the TNA Championship match.

All the rest:

Eddie Edwards defeats Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, & DJ Z to win the X Division title

The X Division match usually opens the show with the charge to get the crowd pumped for the rest of the night. That task was more uphill tonight given the tragic shooting that happened in the same city this show took place. But to their credit, they succeeded in getting the fans excited.

The X Division is slowly trying to revive itself after a very lifeless 2015. It's slow, but there’s more substance than there had been and that was evident tonight. This was more than just MOVEZ. There was a story to this match.

Yes, this was often a spotfest, which always helps get the crowd pumped up. However there was an added story of how the Helms Dynasty (Andrew Everett and champ Trevor Lee) would do without Gregory Shane Helms, who was ejected before the match even started. The last time they had a 4-way match with these men, GS Helms was the one who was able to keep Everett & Lee on the same side when Everett decided to try to win the title for himself. And Helms was also the man who distracted the ref when Eddie Edwards technically won to give Lee time to steal the win.

With Helms gone, the members of the Dynasty did have a bit of an issue when Everett went for a cover, but nothing ever came of it. And when it came down to Eddie one-on-one with Lee, without Helms to help Lee out of a jam, Trevor lost.

It was a fun match. The story-phile in me would have preferred more exploration with Everett and Lee’s interaction when Andrew went for the cover. It feels that was sacrificed to keep the speed up. But that's a story they can continue to explore. This was a fun match with enough story to back up all the cool spots to get the crowd pumped up.

The Tribunal (Baron Dax & Basile Baraka) defeats Grado & Mahabali Shera

This match unfortunately lost much of the crowd that the X Division built up. Much of that was because Mahabali Shera played face in peril most of the match and it’s been proven throughout the entire feud that the crowd has little to no connection to the man.

So by the time that Grado, the guy that fans get behind, got into the match, the crowd couldn't muster much of anything.

The Tribunal worked as a heel team well and they absolutely should be the ones to take this match. Hopefully, they move on from Grado and Shera after this to help legitimize them.

Sienna defeats Jade & Gail Kim to win the Knockouts title

Because of Maria’s broken hand, they had to call an audible and adding Gail Kim to the knockouts title match made the most sense. Unfortunately it ended up lessening the impact of the match.

The most (at times only) captivating thing about the KOs division is the First Lady Maria Kanellis. Her not wrestling Gail really took the wind out of the sails of the women’s story last night. Plus adding Gail to the match left the heel Sienna as the underdog against the two faces working together. It’s very difficult to get heat on the match in a situation like that.

In the end, it was Marti Bell running in and laying out Jade with a pipe of sorts that allowed Sienna to get the win. Given the fact we haven’t seen Marti in a long while, her interference didn’t have much weight to it.

James Storm defeats Braxton Sutter

This match was added on with a backstage segment and felt like a last minute decision to fill the spot that was supposed to go to Gail and Maria. While it looks like they have big plans for Braxton Sutter, it's a bit baffling they want to get there by having him lose his second match, even if it is to an established vet like Storm.

In the end, it was an OK match that got Storm on the card and Sutter some time. But it's nothing we’ll be talking about after this.

Eli Drake defeats Bram to retain the King of the Mountain Championship

This was a good match overall and the right man won. Eli Drake is a really good heel and he played that up with his cowardice in this match. Any time things didn't seem to go his way, he’d try to bail. Unfortunately, Bram is too tough to avoid forever and for some time, Drake paid for it.

However, his plan worked because it was a roll out of the ring that won Drake the match. Bram hit the Brighter Side of Suffering DDT but Drake was able roll outside. After Bram had to haul Drake’s deadweight back into the ring, Drake had just enough energy to hit his Blunt Force Trauma for the win. After he hit that, he could barely stand, showing that was all he had to get past the Chesterfield Plague.

This was probably the best undercard match of the night. The right man won. Drake can continue to make the KOTM title mean something and Bram can move up in the card.

The Decay defeat the BroMans to retain the tag team championships

This match was the one on the card that had almost no build and it suffered because of it. The Decay continue to impress. (There were some in our live blog who had never seen Decay before who became instant fans.) And it was good that they won. But the match way too over booked, including one spot where Jessie Godderz submitted Crazzy Steve and Abyss needed to pull the referee. After that point, the action became convoluted, with Decay needing to cheat to escape losses a few times. Despite winning, the Decay looked like they could barely hang with the BroMans.

No disrespect intended to Robbie and Jessie. I’ve always been a fan of Robbie and Jessie continues to impress in the ring. But as a team, the Decay should be able to defeat them in a more impressive fashion. They are a special act and they need to be treated as such. The BroMans could look really good without the Decay looking like they can barely hang.

Overall take:

TNA had a great opportunity to change some minds about their product with their pay-per-view tonight. They had built multiple stories over months and had a lot of young talent to show off. Their weekly product has been more consistently enjoyable. With a stellar showing, they had a chance to change some minds.

In no way did they take steps backwards. But they didn't put on the home run show that could get people to start removing “LOLTNA” from their vocabulary, despite not having any of those moments tonight. The top three matches delivered to some degree. EC3/Bennett had a great match. Lashley and Drew had a drag-out fight that, while a bit hindered by the stipulation, still felt big. Matt and Jeff did all they could to try and keep creating the magic of ridiculousness, but couldn’t completely get there. None of these matches were bad, but aside from maybe EC3/Bennett, none were superb.

Unfortunately, none of the lower card matches truly stepped up to try to steal the show. The string of matches after the opener were the three worst matches back-to-back-to-back, leaving a big lull in the first hour that needed to be fought back from. There was no undercard match that put on a performance that was well above expectation to help spice up the first part of the pay-per-view. There were a couple good ones and a couple bad ones but not enough performances outdoing themselves to make this a great show.

Not that it's the job of a single pay-per-view to change a bunch of minds. There was enough of this show to enjoy that made ordering it worth it. It just would have been nice for a PPV that helped show people who may not watch the product weekly that TNA is doing some fun stuff on a weekly basis.

Grade: C+

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