The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Slammiversary>/I> Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz breaks out the crystal ball to get you ready for TNA’s huge pay per view event, Slammiversary, from Orlando, FL.
Slammiversary is one of TNA’s biggest annual events, a milestone marker for the promotion and, therefore, a big event for the fans.
Two “King of the Mountain” matches top this year’s card. One pits TNA World Champion Mick Foley against AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle. The other sends both Lethal Consequences and the Motor City Machine Guns against X Division title holder Suicide.
The rest of the card isn’t too shabby, either. Highlights include Beer Money versus Team3D and Knockout champion Angelina Love defending her belt against newcomer Tara.
Let’s look at Slammiversary match by match to see what’s in store – and what may happen.
Eric Young & Rhino vs. The British Invasion
The Story: Eric Young is restless. The long-time fan favorite has been grumbling about mistreatment. Will pairing him with his old friend Rhino help Primetime get back in the groove? They’ll have to show some continuity if they expect to beat the team from the UK.
My Prediction: The point of this match, I predict, is that Eric Young will turn on his old friend Rhino to complete the heel turn. TNA has shown a propensity to just have the heel walk out on his partner, but it would be better if Eric actually turned on Rhino to the point that the War Machine suffered a beat-down by The British Invasion.
Predicted Grade: C+ (Not pretty, but maybe necessary)
Daniels vs. Shane Douglas
Loser Leaves TNA
The Story: Shane Douglas returned to TNA recently and he came with a gigantic chip on his shoulder. He has complained loud and long that Daniels got back into TNA despite losing in “Feast or Fired.” The Franchise and Daniels must now compete in a match in which Daniels’ spot in the promotion is on the line. It’s an old-fashioned, Loser Leaves TNA showdown.
My Prediction: In a perfect world, Shane Douglas would lose and go home. He still has mic skills, but his in-ring work has not impressed. Now would be a fine time to let him go off into the sunset, because it doesn’t look like he is physically ready for heavy duty.
A more likely ending would be to have Douglas win by foul means, perhaps help from Dr. Stevie. Daniels would retreat to the Suicide identity and Douglas would replace the two tag teams in the quest to unmask him. Douglas will want to prove that Daniels hasn’t left at all.
Predicted Grade: B-
Abyss & Taylor Wilde vs. Daffney & Raven
Inter-gender tag team match
The Story: Taylor Wilde brought Daffney to TNA and must surely regret it. The Screaming Siren has gone over the deep end and begun attacking her former friend. Abyss remains the target of Dr. Stevie’s inions, so this is an attempt to destroy two babyfaces in one match.
My Prediction: This feels more like the start of a program than its climax. For the storyline to continue, the heels must win. For the fan favorites to save their baby faces, the victory needs to be tainted. Put it all together and you’ve got Dr. Stevie with the candlestick in the library.
No, wait… this is wrestling, not Clue, Dr. Stevie will come to the ring, perhaps with other minions, and distract Abyss.
Predicted Grade: B
Sting vs. Matt Morgan
The Story: Matt Morgan has applied to become a member of the Main Event Mafia, but Sting is skeptical. Morgan will try to prove he is worthy; Sting will try to make the brash young wrestler show some respect.
My Prediction: Neither man can afford the loss in this match, which makes it exceptionally tough to predict with any certainty, Sting will get the decision, but the Blueprint will work a strong match. When Sting puts away Morgan with the Scorpion Death Drop, it will at first look like Matt Morgan has made his point with the head of the MEM. The Blueprint will then attack Sting out of frustration, igniting a feud that could run for a month or two
Predicted Grade: B
Tara vs. Angelina Love
The Story: Tara is the new Knockout at TNA and she has impressed everyone with her physical strength and ring skill. Her finisher is fearsome, but what remains to be seen is whether she can apply it to the blonde champion and leader of the Beautiful People.
My Prediction: Until Tara joined TNA, Angelina Love’s only viable opponent looked to be Awesome Kong, but now there’s Tara. Since there are not a lot of title contenders, the result might be to have Tara win by DQ when the outside interference gets too blatant for the official to overlook.
It would be better if Tara beat Love to set up a re-match at the next pay per view, but doing a DQ first would extend the storyline through the summer.
Predicted Grade: B
Team 3D vs. Beer Money, Inc.
TNA World Tag Team Championship
The Story: Beer Money won the Team 3D Invitational at Sacrifice. They got a trophy, a $100,000 check and the right to meet Brother Ray and Brother Devon for the title. Ever since Storm and Roode defeated the British Invasion, Team 3D has heaped praise on them at every opportunity. That’s all very well and good, but it doesn’t seem likely that the big bad boys from New York City will pin themselves – or willingly surrender the straps.
My Prediction:The build-up to a torch passing has been too overblown and too obvious. If Beer Money just goes ahead and beats Team 3D, there’s not going to be much suspense about it. Therefore, this has all been a mind game, concocted by Devon and Ray to set up the challengers for a surprise and a fall.
Team 3D will take unfair advantage at the start of the match, but whether Beer Money will overcome that handicap is far from clear. As my colleague Jay Shannon pointed out in his preview – and you should read <I<HeadLocker immediately after you finish mine – the circumstances offer a convenient alibi for a 3D loss.
That’s my prediction, because it allows Ray and Devon to claim that the flights to and from Japan loused up their timing and drained their energy. They can challenge Beer Money to a rematch, which they would most probably win by DQ so that Beer Money would retain the tag team championship.
Predicted Grade: B+
Suicide vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin
X Division Championship
King of the Mountain
The Story: All four of the challengers want the title, that’s for sure, but the real focus of the match is the attempt by the Guns and Lethal Consequences to unmask the champ and reveal his secret identity. The question hangs in the air; Will they achieve one or both of their goals – or will the lust for gold win out over the desire to know who is under the hood.
My Prediction: Suicide will retain the championship when the shaky alliance between the two teams disintegrates under the pressure of the match and the rivalry for the belt. If I were the booker, the quartet would rip the mask off Suicide to reveal – Kaz or someone else. Then Suicide would appear on the upper stage, played by Daniels.
What I think may actually happen is that Suicide will go up the ladder and hang the belt – and then disappear.
If they can’t do that one, the challengers will unmask Suicide – and then another Suicide will appear in the arena, leaving the mystery unsolved.
Predicted Grade: A
Mick Foley vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
TNA World Championship
King of the Mountain match
The Story: You can’t tell the feuders without a scorecard in this contest! Everyone hates everyone, with the possible exception of AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Will someone take the covered title away from Mick Foley or will personal animosities rule?
My Prediction: It is unlikely that Mick Foley will be TNA World Champion when Slammiversary fades to black. Samoa Joe’s injury may have changed the original booking idea, because his injury means it wouldn’t make sense to give him the title.
Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley could cancel out each other, as may Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. That would leave the man who climbs the ladder and wins. The prediction here is that it will be The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles.
The most attractive alternative possibility would be to have Samoa Joe win, which would lead to a tournament when he had to forfeit the gold due to his much-publicized injury.
Predicted Grade: A
Predicted grade for Slammiversary: B+
That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of Slammiversary on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.
– Arnie Katz