Pre-Game Show Notes: They aired the Road to Slammiversary PPV, right down to advertising the Steiners vs. Team 3D. There's something really really sleazy about continuing to advertise that match, especially when it could cost nothing to run a crawl across the bottom of the screen. Of course, when compared to what WWE is pulling this week, TNA are saints in comparison, but that shouldn't prevent the company from doing the right thing. You can't win back street credibility with hardcore fans (who make up the bulk of your paying customers) when you screw them. It's understandable there was an injury; it's inconceivable to act like that injury doesn't exist until after you have the customers' money....Leticia Cline needs work on her on-air personality. Lord knows she's pleasing to look at, but she doesn't come across as someone who knows or is passionate about the product, especially when compared to Christy Hemme, who was perfect in the same role...James Storm's promo building the match with Frank Wycheck were really damn good. Storm has to be considered one of the most improved wrestlers of the year if this keeps up....It sure as hell looks like Jeff Jarrett's silhouette in the King of the Mountain preview.
TNA opened with their original NWA:TNA opening from the era of the Wednesday night PPVs followed by a music video meshing footage of Nashville with historic moments from that era. They aired a video of Jeff Jarrett clobbering a Tiger Woods lookalike with a guitar.
Mike Tenay welcomed us to the PPV as the band LoCash Cowboys. performed the TNA Slammiversary theme music live. The Nashville Municipal Auditorium looks damn full on TV.
LAX vs. Rhino & Senshi (with Hector Guerrero)
No Chris Harris, so I'm wondering if he's the mystery guy in the King of the Mountain. Senshi and Homicide against each other live on PPV sounds great to me. Rhino starts off with Homicide. The crowd chants Rhino's name so Homicide goes off them. Homicide ducks under a clothesline attempt but is caught with a press and slam. Homicide charges Rhino in the corner. Rhino caught him and went for a powerbomb but lost his grip and Homicide fell over the ropes to the floor, feetfirst. That could have been a disaster but thankfully he was OK. Senshi tagged in, but Homicide drilled him into the corner and tagged in Hernandez.
Senshi drilled Hernandez with a kick to the leg several times. He tries to shoulderblock Hernandez but is shoved off. Senshi attempts a second but fails. Hernandez clips Rhino in the corner, but is drilled by several trademark Senshi kicks to the head. Rhino clotheslines Hernandez, setting up a near fall. Senshi goes to work with a series of strikes but is caught and beeled across the entire distance of the ring. Hernandez does it again, then tags in Homicide.
Homicide drills Senshi with a back elbow as he rebounds off the ropes for a two count. Homicide catapults Senshi into Hernandez' waiting arms, where he's hit with a belly-to-belly suplex. Senshi kicks up at two. Hernandez locks in a bearhug but Senshi bites him to break it. Hernandez nails the Cracker Jack. He goes for a powerbomb but Senshi drilled him with a series of rights,. Hernandez falls backwards with Senshi on top. Senshi drills a double stomp then tags Rhino. Homicide and go back and forth. Rhino then nails Hernandez with a belly-to-belly. He hits a spinebuster on Homicide but Hernandez breaks it up. Hernandez and Senshi go at it. Senshi ducks under Hernandez and holds the ropes, so Hernandez goes to the floor. Senshi hits a great springboard flying forearm to the floor.
Konnan handed Homicide the slapjack but Hector Guerrero grabbed it and clotheslined Homicide's throat over the top rope. Rhino KILLED Homicide with a gore and scored the pin.
Your winners, Senshi and Rhino!
This was a really fun opener. The work was good all the way through and the crowd, which is super hot, made it even better. I've written it before but the TNA PPVs from Orlando and outside venues are like night and day from an atmosphere standpoint.
Mike Tenay and Don West noted that "as everyone knows, Scott Steiner suffered a freaky injury" in Puerto Rico and won't be appearing tonight. They said they will be following the story as the PPV goes on. They previewed the rest of the card.
They aired a King of the Mountain match preview package.
Jeremy Borash was outside Jim Cornette's office saying he was trying to get an update on the King of the Mountain and TNA Tag title situations. Eric Young showed up. Tracy Brooks showed up and tried to romance Young in order to get him to give up the match. Young started losing his mind over the idea. His delivery is awesome. Gail Kim showed up and told Young to focus on the biggest match of his life. She kissed him and told Brooks that was a kiss from a real woman, then sent Young on his way. Kim warned Brooks she was watching her and left. Brooks called her a bitch.
The announcers previewed the X-Division championship bout. Kevin Nash joined the announcers. Guru Sonjay Dutt, doing a Benny Hinn-like gimmick, came to ringside, dropping flower pedals in his wake. What he was doing at ringside was never explained. I'm not sure what to make of the gimmick yet, but at least TNA didn't make him Honkytonk Dutt or something. Nash said he felt like Jim Jones with several of his children out here. Don West quipped, "Hope there's a better ending." That was funny.
TNA X-Division champion Chris Sabin vs. Jay Lethal.
The crowd was chanting "Black Machismo" at the bell. Lethal opened up with a hiptoss and several punches. Sabin tried to scamper out of the ring but Lethal grabbed his leg. Sabin peppered Lethal with punches to the back but was caught with an elbow. Lethal nailed headscissors off the ropes, sending Sabin to the floor. Lethal charged with a suicide dive to the floor. Lethal went to the top and hit a double axehandle to Sabin's head for a near fall. Lethal really does a good job of meshing the Macho Man spots to his own signature moves. Sabin drilled a headbutt and knee to the face. Sabin 's improvement is evident too of late as he plays to the crowd at all the right times instead of going from move to move. Sabin rides Lethal in the ropes, choking him against the middle rope. He steps on Lethal's throat, mocking the Randy Savage twirling finger. The crowd starts chanting, "Let's go Lethal."
Sabin thumbs Lethal in the eye, then slaps him several times. He follows that up with several punches in the corner, toying with him. He chokes Lethal with his boot. The crowd tries to rally Lethal. Sabin hits a leaping elbow in the corner. Lethal comes back with a flying forearm of the ropes. Lethal suplexes Sabin for a two count.
Sabin comes back with a running boot in the corner to kill Lethal's momentum. Sabin goes for a top rope hurrancanrana but Lethal holds on. Lethal flips Sabin into a faceplant combination but Sabin gets his shoulder up at two. Lethal goes for the top but is caught with a mule kick to the chest, then an enziguiri to the head. Lethal kicks up at the last second.
Sabin goes for the Cradleshock but Lethal escaped. He attempted a full nelson suplex but Sabin backed him into the corner. Lethal kicked out of a pin attempt. Sabin went for Cradleshock but was superkicked. Lethal nailed the Lethal combination and the top rope elbow. Lethal scores the pin.
Your winner and new X-Division champion Jay Lethal!
Don West tells Kevin Nash, "Happy Father's day." Lethal and Nash hug. Lethal celebrates with the belt. Another good match.
They aired a video feature on the Slammiversary press conference that led to the James Storm-Frank Wycheck angle.
Leticia Cline interviewed James Storm and Jackie Moore. Storm said Wycheck better kiss his wife and kids goodbye. Jackie Moore asked Cline how much she paid for her implants, then told her to ask for a refund because they were a little lopsided. Not as funny as you might think reading this.
Ron Killings & James Storm vs. Frank Wycheck & Jerry Lynn (with Kyle Vanden Bosch)
They gave no explanation as to why Killings was a heel or teaming with Storm beyond the idea they were both TNA original roster members and offended by the attention Wycheck received at the press conference for the PPV. No mention of those TERRIBLE Killings "movie" vignettes so let's hope those have gone the way of the Dupp Cup. Wycheck and Lynn came out wearing Tennessee Titan jerseys accompanied by the Titan's Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings, making his return from knee surgery much earlier than expected, start off. Killings looked good early, showing no ring rust, right down to doing a handspring out of the corner and a split before nailing a kick to the face. Lynn hits a back elbow off the ropes, then a deep armdrag on Killings. James Storm tagged in, so Lynn tagged in Wycheck.
The crowd into Wycheck. Storm shoulderblocked Wycheck down to the mat. Storm put on a football helmet. Killings tossed him a football, which he fumbled to mock Wycheck. Crowd booed that. I thought that was a funny idea to get the crowd behind Wycheck. Storm headlocked Wycheck. Wycheck shoved him off into the ropes but was shoulderblocked down again. Lynn tried to give Wycheck advice.
Wycheck hits several shoulderblocks, then dropkicked Storm. Killings tried to kick Wycheck, who ducked. Killings crotched himself, then bumped to the floor. Wycheck press and tossed Lynn to the heels on the floor. Wycheck hit an atomic drop on Storm, then tossed him over the top. Storm tried to skin the cat but Lynn dropkicked him to the floor. Wycheck went after Storm on the floor but was clotheslined. The announcers played it off like Wycheck hit the back of his head on the concrete, playing off his concussions. They tossed him into the railing. Storm set up Wycheck, then kicked him in the face.
Killings handed Storm a chair but the referee took it away. This allowed Wycheck a chance to tag Lynn, who nailed some offense before being tossed to the floor. Killings took out Lynn on the floor then tossed him back in. Storm hit the Whirlybird on Lynn, then sipped from a bottle of beer. Storm spit the beer on Kyle Vanden Bosch, who tried to get in the ring but was held back. Killings tagged in and he and Lynn nailed each other mid-ring with high cross bodyblock attempts.
Storm and Wycheck tagged in. Wycheck slammed each and dropkicked Killings. He drilled their heads together. Storm ducked a clothesline and Killings took it. Storm superkicked Wycheck for the pin but Vanden Bosch pulled him out of the ring to break the cover and began beating on him. Jackie Moore jumped on Bosch's back but he flipped her over.
Inside the ring, Killings continued to work over Wycheck. Storm brandished the beer bottle. Killings held Wycheck but Lynn stopped Storm. It looked like Lynn was a step or two behind where he needed to be. The idea was that Storm ended up hitting Killings but I'm not sure if that was the case. Wycheck then hit Lynn's finisher, the cradle piledriver for the pin.
Your winners, Jerry Lynn and Frank Wycheck!
I thought this was another fun match. They booked the hell out of this to try and make it entertaining and put Wycheck in a position where he looked good but didn't embarrass the business either. It was obviously something that meant more to the live crowd then most of the audience at home, but it didn't feel forced once they were in the ring.
They aired a Bob Backlund vs. Alex Shelley video feature.
Bob Backlund vs. Alex Shelley
I expect this will be something silly but if they wanted, I bet these two could have a decent match. When I interviewed Samoa Joe a few months back, he noted that he'd love to wrestle Backlund or learn from Backlund's amateur background.
They pushed on the commentary that Backlund lost his mind after losing "the World title" to Kevin Nash in Madison Square Garden. Backlund and Shelley shook hands to open the bout. Backlund took down Shelley with several single leg takedowns. Shelley went to the floor to catch his breath, then returns to the ring. He chopped and punched Backlund, then hit a hiptoss. He cinched in a shortarm scissors. Backlund tried to escape but was caught again.
Backlund escaped and hit a butterfly suplex. He nailed an atomic drop, sending Shelley into the corner. Chris Sabin came to ringside and grabbed Backlund's leg. Backlund pulled him into the ring and hit a drop toehold on Shelley into Sabin's crotch.
Backlund did the Backlund bridge for the pin.
Backlund offered Shelley a handshake as Sabin snuck up from behind. Sabin went for a crossface chickenwing but Backlund reversed it. Backlund then locked it in on Shelley. Kevin Nash came to the ring to break it up. He and Backlund faced off. Jerry Lynn came to the ring, presumably to calm Backlund but Nash kicked him in the face. Sabin and Shelley began working over Backlund as Nash watched on. They tossed Backlund to the floor, then took worked over Lynn. Jay Lethal hit the ring for the save, nailing elbows. The elbows weren't over with the crowd. Nash walked off instead of facing off with Lethal, but stared at him from ringside. Sabin and Shelley beat on Backlund on the floor, sending him over the railing into the crowd. They played Lethal's music. They did too much going on at once here for me.
The lights went on out and Christopher Daniels began cutting a promo from somewhere in the audience. He said that he went to Sting, who told him to be true to himself and find something that satisfies his drive. He said that he used Sting's life and his relationship with "Our father" (God, who apparently left WWE for TNA). He said that he realized he's always been an angel sent from the heavens to do his bidding. He says the God he follows says take an eye for an eye and a life for a life. Daniels says that his God has no tolerance for those who wronged him. This should be a big career making promo but feels too scripted. Daniels says that his God has given him the talent to become the World champion. He says that his God has asked him to beat Sting in the ring and his will will be done. They started playing Daniels' music before he was finished. I got the idea behind this, but I think a pre-taped feature may have worked better to get this over.
They aired a Christy Hemme vs. VKM feud package.
Damaja & Basham (with Hemme) vs. Voodoo Kim Mafia
My Lord, Hemme looks great. Anyway, they brawl as soon as VKM hits the ring. Damaja and Basham are down, so Kip James charges Hemme into the ring. This lets Damaja and Basham jump VKM and they ring the bell. Basham nails a legdrop on BG James. The announcers were blaming the entire feud on Hemme. Damaja was taking several shots to the face so he raked BG's face and tagged in Basham. They tagged in and out working over BG.
Basham missed a diving headbutt. Kip James and Damaja tagged in. Kip nailed a tilt-o-whirl slam. Basham and Damaja went for a double suplex on Kip but BG speared one of them. The other was rolled up into a small package by Kip and pinned. Wow, talk about a nothing match.
Kip tossed Damaja over the ropes. VKM stalked Hemme, who headed up the ramp, She tried to run off but Lance Hoyt came from backstage to grab her. They carried her back to the ring. Kip James teased a chokeslam but Lance Hoyt hit a running boot on him. Basham and Damaja attacked BG James. Lance Hoyt slapped BG then hit a running boot to the face. Hoyt was screaming at VKM that it was his time and their time was over. Hemme and Hoyt began playing tongue hockey.
Backstage, Leticia Cline was in Jim Cornette's office with Rick Steiner. Cornette told him he was sorry about Scott Steiner's injury but they were going to have to forfeit the match because as tough as Rick was, he couldn't face Team 3D alone without a partner. Steiner said he had one and whispered a name into Cornette's ear. Cornette beamed like Steiner told him it was Jackie Fargo, Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey all at once. He asked Steiner if "he was here?" Steiner said he was. Cornette told him that he has himself a title match. Steiner ran off barking. Please, please, please don't let this be Lex Luger or Buff Bagwell. Please! Cline asked who it was and Cornette said that if Steiner wanted her to know, he would have told her.
Back in the building, LAX jumped Hector Guerrero at the Spanish Announce table. Konnnan was in Guerrero's face screaming. That's three angles in like 25 minutes!
We go to a video feature on the Eric Young vs. Robert Roode feud.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode
Roode was browbreating Young as soon as he got into the ring. Young fought back but was taken down and nailed with a series of boots. Young tosses Roode to the floor. Young went to the top and Brooks tried to get him to stop. Young acted like he was listening, then when she turned her back, he hit a bodypress over her to the floor on Roode. Roode and Young battled on the floor. Young was dropped throat-first on the rail. Roode chokes Young against the ropes. Brooks slaps Young in the face. I'm waiting for Gail Kim to get involved. Roode scored a two count. Roode scored another near fall and began choking Young on the mat. He nails a snapmare and then snaps Young's neck forward as he leaps over him. Roode screamed at the crowd and began chopping away at Young. He charged Young in the corner but was nailed with an elbow.
Roode cut his offense off and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. He cinched in a rear chinlock. Young got to his feet and fell backwards with the electric chair. Young went on the offense, finally hitting an elbow and a clothesline for a near fall. Roode whipped Young into the corner and he did the Flair Flop. Young went to the floor, where he teased Brooks by dancing her in a circle, the pulling her pants down. She was hardly wearing the underwear you'd expect to get a pop from the crowd.
Young went to the top. Roode tried to stop him but was shoved off. Young hit a top rope elbow for a two count. Roode nailed a jawbreaker and a clothesline. Roode went to the middle rope for his signature kneedrop but Young caught him with a boot to the face. Brooks got into ring, so Young picked her up in a Fireman's carry and ran her head into Roode's crotch while Roode was on the corner. Young pulled Roode atop of her and hit a death valley driver on both. Young only got a two count. Young began having words with the referee. Roode rolled out of the ring and grabbed a chair. Young went to grab him, but Roode blasted him with the chair and pinned him.
Your winner, Robert Roode!
The ring announcer said that Young's TNA contract was now null and void and he's going to be fired. Roode took the mic the and told Young he was fired. Jim Cornette came to ringside. He tells Roode that he's going to open his ears and shut his mouth. Cornette told Roode he was warned he was going to keep an eye on the match because he wanted it settled fair and square. Cornette said that what he just saw wasn't fair and square and announced the match was to be re-started.
They rang the bell and Roode went right after him with punches. The crowd got behind Young, chanting his name. Gail Kim attacks Brooks from behind as Brooks was going to hand Roode a chair. They battled up the entranceway. Roode stalked over Young, who rolled him up for the pin. Young wins his freedom.
Your winner, Eric Young!
Backstage, Jeremy Borash was with TNA Tag Team champions 3D. Brother Ray said that tonight was a historic night for TNA was supposed to be a historic night for tag team wrestling. He said they and the Steiners were going to get it on but that's not going to happen. He says that's not going to happen because Scott Steiner isn't here. He says that some people claim Steiner has a throat problem, but the truth is Steiner talked a lot of crap and punked out on the fans, the business, and his brother Rick. He said that it hurts him to say that but a month ago they had nothing but respect for The Steiners. He said a month ago, the Steiners crapped on Team 3D's legacy. Ray said that Rick's been out of the business for years, so what kind of partner could he find. He said he hopes Scott gets well soon so they can finally kick his teeth in. Trademark good promo from Team 3D.