Mt. Killamanjaro: TNA’s 2012 Slammiversary Review

Mike Killam

TNA Tag Team Championship
Kurt Angle & AJ Styles def. Kazarian & Daniels

Kurt AngleAfter this match, do we have any clue what the next chapter in the Dixie Carter and AJ Styles drama holds? No, but who the hell cares!? These four men, despite a mediocre build and a convoluted story line, showed up to work and put on one of the best wrestling matches I've enjoyed in years! Kurt Angle found that zone I haven't seen him enter in quite some time, exploding out of each suplex like his Olympic gold medals were on the line. AJ Styles played the part of the face whipping boy, but every move he hit was characteristically crisp and without flaw. He may never be wrestling's greatest promo guy or strongman, but his brilliance is in that ring, perfectly executing split-second moves that in anybody else's hands could end in serious injury. 

I'm a little sad to see the belts taken off of Kaz and Daniels, as I love their chemistry. And in retrospect giving them to Angle and Styles in the midst of this weird feud seems like a bad decision. But in that moment, Angle forcing Kaz to tap was 100% the correct call to make. The fans came unglued; hell, I came unglued! I don't care where the story goes from here, this match was enough to justify the entire Dixie-based ball of yarn. 

Rating: 5/5

TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode (c) def. "The Icon" Sting

Bobby Roode1Well, TNA made the right move, but like many a Bobby Roode title defense, the fans are left feeling a bit "empty" with the conclusion. This time it's not just because he's a good heel, and as such makes heel decisions that aren't exactly popular. This time it was due in part to a poor match, and in part to already having seen Roode defeat Sting just a few months ago (in a much better match, might I add). I know this was pretty much "Sting Appreciation Night", but I was hoping to see the Champion standing tall at the climax of TNA's 10th Anniversary PPV event. To me, that makes a lot more sense than having the guy that lost, and will likely not be receiving yet another title shot, end the show standing tall. 

Rating: 3/5

In Conclusion…

I was really worried that with Sting inducted into the newly formed Hall of Fame, Sting's arrival in TNA being heralded as the #1 moment in the company's history, and Sting booked in a title match in the main event, that TNA's biggest PPV ever was going to turn into a giant circle-jerk to keep the "Icon" around just a little bit longer. But Sting has always been one thing (no, Justin LaBar, I wasn't going to say an Icon), and that's a professional. In the end, Sting gets a big night to honor his career (since he didn't jump to WWE for the Hall of Fame…) and a lot of good business decisions were made for TNA. 

The main event wasn't anything to write home about. Neither was Bully Ray and Park, now that I've had more time to think about it. The Knockouts were average, Storm barely had to try to defeat Crimson's streak and STILL nobody cares about Garett or D-Von. But while that list of complaints would normally be enough to keep me from putting over a TNA PPV, the good completely out-weighed the bad at Slammiversary! 

Austin Aries and Samoa Joe tore the house down, setting the pace for the whole evening. Mark my words, Aries will be World Champion by this time next year. Hernandez and Kid Kash, even though barely advertised for the card and absent from Impact for several months, showed up and put on a surprisingly good filler bout. The Contender's match filled ten minutes with solid action and provided a fresh opponent to the Championship this Thursday. And then there was the Tag Team Championship match… I don't think I could possibly put those four guys over to a point where I would feel like I did an adequate job. From a technical standpoint, at least in my mind, their match is currently the match of the year. 

TNA Slammiversary was, if nothing else, a shining example of what a wrestling PPV should be! It had its down moments, but fantastic wrestling contests populated a good card, stories were pushed further and they drew a lot more internet for their televised product this week. If I had one major criticism, it is that the main event did not leave us with a moment fitting of a 10th Anniversary show. 


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