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  3. TNA Slammiversary Recap (6/8): Joe Is King of the Mountain!

SlammiversarySlammiversary comes from The DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi. The show opens with a video montage of clips from the action leading up to the PPV cut in with shots of Memphis, TN, and assorted Elvis impersonators, as the announcer’s script wove together titles of numerous Elvis hits. Don’t Be Cruel; it’s time to Shake Rattle and Roll. Thank ya, thank ya very much!

Announcers Mike Tenay and Don West are at ringside to welcome fans amid a display of pyro.

X Division Championship Match
“Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams (C) with Rhaka Khan and Scott Steiner
Frankie “Kaz” Kazarian

Petey is wearing a face guard to protect the orbital bone broken recently. The fans send up dueling chants as both men start off with mat work and clever reversals. Petey goes out to the floor a couple of times to regroup, and the second time, Kaz follows him. Rhaka Khan (who is taller than Frankie in her spike heeled boots) distracts Kaz on the outside long enough for Petey to make a leap off the ring apron to DDT him on the floor.

At one point, Petey does pushups with his hand across Kaz’ throat. One of the high spots is when Petey does a beautiful slingshot off the top rope into a hurricanarana on Kaz on the floor. They battle on, evenly matched, countering each other, so neither man can manage to use his finisher. They keep the crowd hot and the suspense going with numerous near falls, and the crowd chants, “This is awesome!”

Another great spot is when Petey goes to the top turnbuckle and Kaz is able to kick him in the head while he’s up there. They struggle on the top, but neither can get in his finisher. Rhaka Khan comes into the ring, and Kaz sends her back out with a drop kick. As the ref checks on her, Steiner throws his lead pipe to Petey, who bashed Kaz in the head with it. Petey then gets the ref and rolls Frankie over, but he can only get a two count. Kaz now has blood gushing from his forehead, and Petey throws the face guard to the floor. Kaz rolls up Petey for a quick pin attempt but gets two. Petey turns him over into the sharpshooter and when he locks it in, the blood starts gushing down Kaz’ face and squirting out from his forehead onto the mat. Petey is also covered in Frankie’s blood.

Kaz powers out and slams Petey with a wave of the future. Referee Rudy Charles flies over both of them to make the count, but still gets only two. Steiner and Khan both try to interfere, but Kaz takes them out. It’s not enough, however, as Petey hits him with the Canadian Destroyer for the win.

After the match, they all put the boots to Kaz. Scott Steiner grabs the mic and says Kaz just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He says he never really got his one on one title shot, and now he doesn’t even have a match on this PPV, so he’s taking Frankie’s world title shot on iMPACT! As they are beating down Kaz, Abyss makes his return, dressed all in white with a gray mask, and hits all three with the black hole slam. Then he hoists Kaz over his shoulder and carries him to the back.

Eric Young comes out to ringside and tells Tenay and West that he has found Elvis Presley and has reserved a seat for him in the front row. Don West asks him what Elvis looks like, since he’s been dead for 30 years. Eric says no, Elvis is alive and looks great.

Jeremy Borash interviews Kevin Nash, who says he looks at Joe as an investment, and he has a lot invested in Joe, so tonight he wants to protect his investment.

Knockouts Six-Woman Tag Team Match
Roxxi LaVeaux, Gail Kim, & ODB
The Beautiful People, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky with “Moose” Mickey Knuckles

Since Thursday’s iMPACT! they have changed Mickey Knuckles’ name to “the Mascot Moose.”

The Beautiful People immediately bail out of the ring and leave Moose in a three on one situation. After they play pinball with Moose, knocking her from girl to girl, and throw her out of the ring, Angelina and Velvet retreat up the ramp, but Gail and ODB follow and force them back as Roxxi dukes it out with Moose. Moose gets the advantage when Angelina grabs Roxxi’s boot. They keep Roxxi isolated on their side of the ring as they take turns tagging in and out. The fans are solidly behind Roxxi, chanting for her.

Finally Roxxi tags in Gail, who goes to town on Velvet and fights off interference by the other two at first. Then the numbers get too much. As Moose distracts the ref, Angelina Love grabs Gail’s leg to trip her, and then bashes the injured knee on the ring edge. Angelina tags in and keeps working on Gail’s injured knee.

Finally Gail tags in ODB, who cleans house. She takes a shot from her flask and sprays it in Moose’s face, but then Velvet and Angelina come in. Soon all six women are brawling. Gail and Roxxi take Angelina and Velvet to the floor. ODB hits Moose with an emphatic running power slam to get the win for her team.

Lauren interviews Rhino, who says that he had a lot of issues this year, but now he has made peace with his problems, and he’s ready to be champ.

TNA Tag Team Championship Match
LAX, Homicide & Hernandez with Hector Guerrero & Salinas
Team 3D, Brother Ray & Devon

Referee Andrew Thomas confiscates a chain from Brother Ray before the match. Devon and Hernandez start off the match with a test of strength in a collar and elbow tie up. Devon breaks it with a fist to Hernandez’ face. After some brawling, Hernandez tags in Homicide and they double team Devon for a bit. Devon tags in Ray, who tries to intimidate Homicide, but it doesn’t work. They battle evenly until Ray takes the advantage by raking Homicide’s eyes.

All four men end up in the ring after Devon interferes. Hernandez knocks 3D out of the ring by hitting both with one drop kick, and then he follows them by sailing over the top rope onto them. Next comes Homicide with a tope con hilo onto all three of them. Back in the ring, it’s Homicide and Ray. Homicide goes up to the top, but Devon goes around the ring and shoves him off to the floor. Hector and Salinas go to check on him, and Ray comes over and attacks Hector and Salinas from behind as Devon distracts Hernandez and the ref.

Now 3D have the advantage on Homicide and continue their cheating and double teaming as they have him isolated on their side of the ring. Finally Homicide gets a tag to Hernandez, but 3D have the ref distracted, so he doesn’t see it and makes Hernandez go back. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a tag team match using that, and it really worked to get the crowd riled up.

Finally Homicide got the good tag to Hernandez, who cleaned up on both members of 3D, and held Devon up for a long time in a vertical suplex before slamming him. They kept at him two on one, until they got the advantage. Devon went up for the wassup, but Homicide got there in time to knock him off. Hernandez power slammed Ray, but Johnny Devine ran out with a kendo stick. Hector came in, grabbed the cane, and beat Devine with it. As Hernandez held Ray, Salinas did the wassup on him, but then made a face, wiped her mouth with her bandanna, and spat.

Devon comes back now and knocks Hernandez out of the ring. He goes after Homicide and sets him on the top turnbuckle, but Hernandez comes up from behind and lifts Devon onto his shoulders. Homicide comes off the top with a bulldog on Devon. Hernandez power bombs Ray and Homicide hits the frog splash, but as the ref is about to count three, Devon pulls him out of the ring. Homicide goes for a dive on Devon but misses, and Ray sneaks up behind Hernandez to hit him with a low blow. As they set up for the 3D, Homicide comes in from behind and rolls up Ray for the three count and the win.

Jeremy Borash interviews Robert Roode, who says that the King of the Mountain Match tonight is his chance to prove he’s no longer a rookie, he’s a main eventer.

Awesome Kong’s $25,000 Challenge
Awesome Kong with Raisha Saeed
Serena Deeb

The two volunteers are Serena Deeb and Josie Robinson. They choose Serena Deeb.

Although Serena Deeb puts up a game fight at first, Kong dominates and pins her after an implant buster. Then she goes over and argues with Josie Robinson, the other volunteer, so they set up a second match.

Awesome Kong with Raisha Saeed

Josie takes it to Kong and gets farther than anyone else so far, but Kong soon pins Josie with an Awesome Bomb. Both Josie and Serena are established on the indy wrestling scene.

Before Kong could leave the ring, Eric Young comes out and announces he has found Elvis. A skinny young Elvis impersonator comes out to the ring as Kong glares, and he even gets into the ring. He asks Kong how she liked touring Graceland. In reply, Kong gives him an Awesome Bomb and leaves the ring.

Lauren asks Christian what is his motivation for being in the King of the Mountain match. Christian tells he he still loves being the best, and he wants to be TNA Champion again.

Jay Lethal & SoCal Val’s Wedding

Also featuring American Idol star Ace Young and wrestling legends George “The Animal” Steel, Kamala, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Koko B. Ware

The wedding starts off beautifully, with all the wrestling legends in tuxedos, and the TNA stars in great costumes. Koko has Frankie II with him. George Steele has some problems getting to the ring, but he makes it eventually. The minister is the same one they used when the Angles renewed their vows.

Then Sonjay Dutt stops the wedding and proposes to Val. When Jay objects, Dutt smashes him with a wooden floral display prop. Ace Young tries to stop Sonjay, but he gets beat up too. The maid of honor takes a crying Val to the back. Then Koko and Kamala take Dutt down, and Jake the Snake pulls his snake out from under the ring and puts it on Dutt, while George the Animal Steele chews on a turnbuckle. Sonjay bails. The legends console Jay.

Borash interviews Booker, who says that TNA promised him the world to sign with them, but they haven’t treated him with enough respect, so he’s going to take what’s rightfully his, the TNA title.

Grudge Match
AJ Styles
Kurt Angle

Tomko comes out with Angle, but Referee Earl Hebner makes him get out of the ring. The crowd is solidly behind AJ, chanting for him from the outset. Although a brawl is expected, they go at it mostly with mat work, reversals, and quick exchanges. The fans are hot throughout this match. AJ does get in a healthy dose of his acrobatic style, such as when he leaps over a charging Angle and then hits him with a gorgeous drop kick.

Angle sends AJ to the floor, and Tomko begins to stalk him, but Earl Hebner gets between them and sends Tomko to the back. Meanwhile, Angle slams AJ’s head into the ring rail twice. As Kurt complains to Hebner, AJ recovers and hits Kurt with a flip dive over the ropes. They return to the ring, where Styles dominates at first. Angle soon makes a comeback and slams AJ backward to the mat twice. Then he goes for chinlock, and when that doesn’t work, he drives AJ’s face into the mat. AJ’s nose is bleeding now as Kurt goes for another chinlock, then follows with a suplex. Angle keeps punishing Styles and then going back to the chinlock.

Angle sets AJ on the top turnbuckle and they battle there as Angle tries for a top rope superplex, but AJ reverses it into a front suplex instead. Hebner counts both men and they rise to their feet, where they slug it out. They battle on with several near falls. Angle hits two Germans, but on the third try AJ reverses into an overhead release suplex. AJ tries for a discus move, but Angle reverses that into his own overhead release suplex. As Kurt pulls Styles to his feet, AJ suddenly nails Angle with a breathtaking enzuiguiri.

After they recover, Kurt answers with a belly to belly suplex into a ring post, but still gets only two. He tries for an Angle slam, but AJ reverses it into a DDT. AJ tries for a Styles Clash, but Kurt rolls it over into the ankle lock, which AJ escapes by flipping Kurt into a turnbuckle. AJ gets two with an inverted DDT, and the fans chant, “This is awesome!”

AJ goes up to the top, but Angle scrambles to his feet and up behind AJ to Olympic slam him off. After he gets only a two count, he goes for the ankle lock, but AJ rolls through into a rollup pin on Angle, again for two. AJ hits the Pelé, but Angle manages to grab the rope and break the count. Ankle lock again, and AJ tries for the ropes, but Kurt drags him back. AJ rolls over and pushes Angle off with his free foot. Angle bumps the ref, who is out on the mat. AJ sends Angle to the floor. Karen Angle walks to the ring, carrying a steel chair. She makes as if to hand Kurt the chair, but then she won’t let go. AJ comes up behind Kurt, rolls him up, and then hits the Styles Clash to get the pin.

AJ Styles and Karen Angle celebrate after the match until Kurt hits him with the steel chair. Then Tomko comes out and holds off Security while Angle tries to break AJ’s leg. Karen stands outside the ring screaming and crying. Finally referees come out and break it up.

Lauren interviews Samoa Joe, who says he’s going to win tonight because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win.

King of the Mountain Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Special Enforcer Kevin Nash
Samoa Joe (C)
Booker T
Christian Cage
Robert Roode

Rules: Kevin Nash has possession of the belt until a wrestler is eligible for hanging the belt on the dangling hook. The first person to climb the ladder and hang the belt will be the Champion. A wrestler is eligible after he gets his first pin on another opponent. The wrestler that is pinned has to go to a penalty box for two minutes.

TNA announcers have been making a big deal out of saying that no champion has successfully defended his title in a King of the Mountain Match. What they aren’t telling you is that there have been only four KotM’s so far, and that there was no defending champion in 2007, when Kurt Angle became the first ever TNA World Heavyweight Champion. That means that there have been only three attempted title defenses so far. Prior to 2007, it was the NWA World Heavyweight Championship that was being defended. Jeff Jarrett is the only man to win the KotM twice.

The match starts off with Christian and Rhino teaming up against Robert Roode, while Booker and Joe go at it. Everyone leaves the ring early on, then Christian, Rhino and Roode return. Cage hurts his left knee with a bad landing on a high risk move within the first few minutes and remains on the outside until Joe knocks Booker out of the ring. They go at it until Booker grabs Joe’s leg, pulls him to the outside, and slams him into the penalty cage.

Booker returns to the ring and pins Rhino to become the first one eligible to hang the belt. Booker tries to get the ladder, but Joe tries to stop him. As they struggle, Christian drop kicks the ladder into both of them. Christian catapults Roode out of the ring, so when Rhino is released from the penalty cage, they have to fight each other until Joe returns to the ring. Joe dives over the top rope onto Booker, Rhino and Roode, then Christian follows up with a dive onto all four off the top of the penalty cage.

Roode uses a chair to slam the ladder into Christian, then pins Christian to become eligible, and Rhino quickly pins Roode to become eligible. Rhino tries to climb up to hang the belt, but Booker knocks the ladder over. Joe and Booker brawl in the ring as Christian slams Roode’s head into the wall inside the penalty box.

Christian frog splashes Booker and Joe, pinning Booker to become eligible. Joe is now the only one not eligible. Roode climbs up, but Joe stops him. Christian then climbs up, but Joe stops him too.

Booker is released from the cage, grabs the belt and slams Nash, Christian and Rhino with it, and goes to climb the ladder. He’s nearly there, but Nash gets into the ring, pulls Booker down, and hits him with the jack knife power bomb.

Finally, Joe pins Roode with a muscle buster to become eligible, then climbs the ladder with no opposition whatsoever, and hangs the belt to retain the TNA title.

This was another very good PPV from TNA, and it ran just a few minutes short of three hours. There wasn’t a bad match on the card, and Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles is a match of the year candidate. It’s well worth buying the replay.

TNA’s next PPV is Victory Road on July 13 at the Reliant Arena in Houston, TX.

— Karen Belcher
Courtesy of ProWrestlingDigest.com