Slammiversary Analysis

The Katz Files
Slammiversary Results & Analysis

Slammiversary was a very good-to-excellent card from top to bottom, though the booking did undercut a couple of the contests, especially Hernandez versus Morgan.

Let’s examine what happened in the matches. I’m reprinting my predictions, verbatim, so you can see how my prognostications and suggestions stack up against what actually happened.

Kurt Angle d. Kazarian
My Prediction: Wouldn’t it be a total gas if Kurt lost this? He could then display his acting ability by doing a reality show version of The Wrestler before returning to greatness. More likely, hell beat Kazarian.
Predicted Grade: B
Results & : Brian Hebner would’ve disqualified Kazarian if Angle hadn’t begged the referee to let the match continue. After a terrific back-and-forth battle, Angle evaded a second Kazarian Spike Piledriver and he came up with an Anklelock that forced a submission.
Actual Grade: A-

Douglas Williams d. Brian Kendrick
X Division Championship
My Prediction: TNA again demonstrates its uncanny knack for putting the wrong guy into an X Division championship match. The wrestler who is on a hot streak with the fans is never the challenger; it’s always someone with no build-up, thrust into the title picture without first getting him over with the fans. Kendrick might make a good match-up against Williams in terms of what happens in the ring, but the opening bell will ring on a decidedly tranquil audience.
Predicted Grade: B+
Results & Analysis: Douglas Williams kept control of the match with his usual ground-based offense, but he won it with a Tornado DDT from the top.

Fans offered lukewarm support for Kendrick, mostly because they knew they couldn’t root for Williams.
Actual Grade: B-

Madison Rayne d. Roxxi
Knockout Championship
My Prediction: Even though TNA hasn’t given Roxxi a decent push, a win for her would make a lot of sense. It would have many positive results for the promotion:
Roxxi will make a more dynamic and exciting champion. Angelina Love can do her heel act as Roxxi’s challenger. Madison Rayne can return to The Beautiful People, which has the added bonus of reducing the ring time for Lacey Von Erich. So, a Roxxi win is a victory for everyone.
Predicted Grade: B
Results & Analysis: Before the match, the champion goaded Roxxi into putting up her TNA career in exchange for such a quick title shot. Madison Rayne scored with a DDT and covered for the win. Roxxi, who looked like the future Knockout Champion just a week or two ago is gone.

I’’ admit that I’m skeptical about the reality of this banishment. It’s hard to believe that TNA has soured on Roxxi so quickly. The crowd didn’t like the idea of Roxxi leaving, so this may be the start of an angle. Or maybe, Mickie James is coming in to take the top babyface spot.
Actual Grade: B-

Jesse Neal d. Brother Ray
My Prediction: They will tease Devon doing something to deter Brother Ray, but the partners won’t actual come to blows/ It’ll be more like a distraction or a misguided attempt to just stop the fighting. Ray should win, but Neal is probably going to steal a victory.
Predicted Grade: B-
Results & Analysis: The arrival of Tommy Dreamer allowed Jesse Neal to pin his former teacher. Brother Ray came out before the match to apologize to everyone within hearing distance of his voice for his words and actions on iMPACT — and then sneak-attacked Jesse as the rookie walked up the ramp towards the dressing room, under the delusion that there would be no match.

It might’ve been better if there hadn’t been a match, because the brutal beatdown of Neal wasn’t all that entertaining to watch, especially since we’d already seen pretty close to the same thing.

It’s hard o know what to make of the fictional friction between Ray and Devon. The arrival of Dreamer, if it wasn’t a pointless oneshot appearance, could have a lot of bearing on the storyline.
Actual Grade: C+

Mat Morgan d. Hernandez via DQ
My Prediction: This is very tough to call. Ordinarily, the lean would be to Morgan, but it’s hard to believe that TNA won’t give Hernandez a “welcome back” win. They could have Homicide gum up the works, but that feels like a swerve they’ve already done.
Predicted Grade: B
Results & Analysis: Matt Morgan came to the ring wearing a neck collar and carrying a medical excuse from his doctor. Referee Brian Hebner started the match and, ironically, ended up disqualifying an out-of-control Hernandez, after Super Mex bealed him across the ring.

The booking leaves TNA with some tempting options. The best might be a “No DQ” match, though that would’ve been better if Morgan ad retained the Tag Team Championship instead of dropping it to The Band.
Actual Grade:

Abyss c. Desmond Wolfe
Monsters Ball
My Prediction: The booking is likely to focus on Chelsea. The story hasn’t been very good to this point and early mistakes prevent this from being a battle to win back Chelsea. After all, she’s supposed to revert to Desmond Wolfe about now, anyway. Chelsea has not shown any softening toward Abyss in her appearances on TV, so she will lure the Masked Mountain to his first Monsters Ball loss.
Predicted Grade: B+
Results & Analysis: Desmond Wolfe walked to the ring with Chelsea back at his side, but her treachery cost him the match. He called to her for the bag that usually holds his brass knuckles. When she reluctantly handed it over, he found that it was empty! Chelsea then produced the knucks and tossed them to Abyss who pounded out Wolfe for the victory.

This should be a terrific shot in the arm for this feud. Don’t be surprised to see Katie Lea Burchill materialize as Wolfe’s new sidekick.
Actual Grade: B+

AJ Styles vs. Jay Lethal
My Prediction: This would be the perfect moment for Flair to truly turn on Styles and cost him the match. He could appear to be helping Styles and then, at the last second, lay him out for Lethal. Jay will suffer a post-match beat-down.
Predicted Grade: A-
Results & Analysis: Jay Lethal survived the Pele Kick and set up the pin with a Northern Lights Suplex.

They seem to be pretending that Flair didn’t already tell Styles to go home and think and will now, evidently, execute this storyline. A victory over the #2=ranked contender should improve Lethal’s standing on his way to a title challenge down the road a few more months.
Actual Grade: A-

Jeff Hardy & Mr. Anderson d. Beer Money
My Prediction: It would be ridiculously, laughably, absurdly premature to show cracks in the Anderson-Hardy team so soon after its formation. It’s far better to build them up as buddies in a feud against Beer Money, which Beer Money will eventually win when Anderson double-crosses the Charismatic Enigma. Anderson and Hardy will win the match, though it may be as a result of a Beer Money DQ.
Predicted Grade: B+
Results & Analysis: In a pre-match interview with Christy Hemme, the babyfaces named their newly formed tag team the Extreme Enigmatic Assholes. Taz and Tenay dithered around through the whole match about whether or not to say “assholes.” The crowd enjoyed chanting it in various forms through the entire match. Although superior teamwork gave Beer Money the early edge, Anderson and Hardy out-thought them at the finish. Roode believed Storm was standing behind him as he prepared to face off against Jeff. It turned out to be Mr. Anderson, who put Double-R on the canvas with a Mic Check. Anderson and Hardy had a lavish celebration, even though Mr. Anderson bled profusely from the left side of his forehead.

The crowd loved the Hardy-Anderson team. They work well together, both inside and outside the ring. This victory puts them in the title picture.
Actual Grade: A-

Rob Van Dam d. Sting
TNA Heavyweight Championship
My Prediction: If Sting by pin or submission, loses this match, RNA has wasted a lot of its fans’ time with an angle that added up to nothing. Sting could win the title, but his theft of the belt suggests that he won’t leave Slammiversary with legitimate possession of the strap. Sting will get disqualified and then run off with the belt again.
Predicted Grade: A-
Results & Analysis: RVD’s Cross-Body Block obliterated referee Earl Hebner. Sting took advantage by clobbering the champion with the black bat. His strategy might’ve worked if Jeff Jarrett hadn’t charged into the ring, taken away the bat and administered a beating of his own to Sting to even up things. Hebner was too groggy to count the pin after Hardy blasted Sting with Rolling Thunder, but he had revived enough to do his job when RVD capitalized on a missed Stinger Splash to land a Five-Star Frog Splash for the win.

Sting losing certainly ended the show on a hollow note. Fans waited for that earthshaking announcement that never came,
Actual Grade: A-

That’s all for this installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I’ll be back on Tuesday with some more observations about Slammiversary. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.

\– Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]

This is the sixth consecutive daily edition of The Katz Files.