Tuesday, 30 June 2015

TNA Slammiversary 2015 Review. Unintentional swan-song?

Was Slammiversary TNA's 
unintentional swan-song?

Slammiversary has been TNA’s answer to WWE’s Wrestlemania. The event has been going for well over ten years. TNA is still here, beyond everyone’s belief, but its recent Pay Per View transmission of the show may indicate the company’s unintentional swan song that could well lead to TNA’s untimely end, for all the wrong reasons.

The show aimed to have an air of surprise, returns and nostalgia to maintain the TNA faithful, all the while neglecting to understand the very reasons why the company has driven its core audiences away. Now so are the so called talent. Departures, switching sides and break up teams all battling one another in sloppy programmes do not excel TNA’s fruitless attempts to encourage fan engagement on from this point today.

Slammiversary had lots of surprises. There were returns in Matt Morgan, aging WWE legend Vader, and former exiled company benefactor Jeff Jarrett. On the downside, the show had no World champion, no defence of the title and returned a new title which was simply the old defunct Legends championship and turned it into the ‘King of the Mountain’ belt instead. Re-christening a title from seclusion does not bode well for anyone hoping to be something more substantial. 

After all the absurdity of the title reinvention, and the match rehashed by TNA founder Jeff Jarrett, who also participated in the poorly constructed match, fans simply could not understand for all its lunacy, featured multiple wrestlers, sort of like a Money in the Bank thing. Eventually, soon to be later that evening TNA Hall of Famer, Jeff Jarrett, not only returned with a uncoordinated promo and watch receiving plaudit, gained the Legends, now King of the Mountain, title. Good grief. An old age match, with an old age ‘star’ convoluting his own former project of personal desire. Can no-one in wrestling management subside their ego for the good of the product? Apart from yours truly, seems not.

The Slammiversary event, for Jarrett, was a nostalgic pat on the back and a ‘keep all doors open because TNA is now insanely desperate’ return that attains no wrestling value. His new ‘thing’ known as Global Force Wrestling, is not now, nor ever, is truly going to take off and is set to be filled with more ignorance and ex-TNA superstars. Jarrett has set himself up for failure before he has begun. That’s not wise at all. Lose the ego. Be a professional. 

After Slammiversary, scores of TNA stars are set to leave, many by way of contract expiration. Ignorant stars Austin Aries and Magnus are set to jump to GFW as a last ditch attempt to remain relevant. No other company could truly make them work, to its standard, any longer. Frustrated hard-worker James Storm is looking to leave for GFW too, after payment issues and lack of direction to his character, causing his family issues to be somewhat an imposing factor on work choices. Taryn Terrell and Awesome Kong denied rumours they may be off too. Though their contracts have ended, allegedly. It’s a bit of a mess. GFW has none and will not gain any standing by shifting TNA stars to and fro to gain any level of stardom. Their tactless talent exchange programme screams juvenile attitudes of failing to work together for the greater good of its parent company, which both still have ownership in.

The show featured some terrible matches. The hype was there for the King of the Mountain match-up. Jeff Jarrett brought it back, got a Hall of Fame induction and introduced the title. Naturally Jarrett had to be in the match. It also featured losers Eric Young, Drew Galloway, Matt Hardy and Bobby Roode. After some lunacy with running around and taking time outs with nor clever direction and suffering skills in the technical ring, TNA founder, tonight’s Hall of Famer and King of the Mountain concept maker Jeff Jarrett, won. This was the Legends title, re-branded as new. You cannot make this stuff up.

The X-Division title was on the line. Unknown talent exchange from Japan, who has no role, was given the gold in his first run. Tigre Uno won the longly vacant title (over how many months?) against DJ Z and Manik in a Triple Threat Elimination match. It had a few flying moments, but was nothing truly special and filled the time.

TNA backstage favourite and idiotic, ignorant goof on screen Robbie E, in his tried out goon persona, defeated former pal and team mate Jessie Godderz. “The Man” Jessie looked hot, powerful and skilled in his technique. Robbie E was a comedy joke. Barely even good enough to be WWE’s Zack Ryder. It was a dumb decision which sees TNA further disrespect an fail to boost the growth of Goddderz, who should have been champion two years ago, when TNA was on the starting brink of failure, in order to save its brand. Instead it opted for some burly big homophobic a** in Bully Ray. His run, which insulted a live fan in attendance on sexuality insults, was a terrible one at best, that even dropping Dixie Carter through a table could not save. (Ray has returned to a contract as you read this.)

Bram defeated the returning brick of uselessness Matt Morgan. Easy on the eye he might be, but Morgan is talk, clunky and heavily clumsy with his interactions. He has not improved from the last time he left. No other company was interested in him. He hasn’t done anything since. Bram, however, was decent, but no level of interest was scored. A nothing match built on Morgan’s ‘shock’ return. Epic.

Ignorant ducklings Austin Aries and Davey Richards took to the TNA air to have a little bouncy bouncy moment on the show. Full of theatrics the two aging stuntmen of minor stature and heavy negativity everywhere they go as unprofessional and lacking grace fought in a minor battle which was better than all the other mess on the card, by default. No match should be like that. Aries defeated Richards after Booby Roode caused a distraction. Aries picks a stipulation match for their fifth outing in an on-going ‘series’ ending on main TNA programming shortly. They have already been taped, as was Slammiversary. This was Aries’ last TNA match in the company.

Awesome Kong and Brooke beat a bunch of Divas calling themselves a ‘Doll House’ group. That will play to the strengths of women as powerful figures in the sport. These little dollies, Jade (Mia Yim), Marti Belle (who?) and Taryn Terrell. Of course we know who Belle is, but the audience doesn’t and she accompanies Yim, thanks to her noticeability from the Wrestling Wonders Pro 25 2012. No other company noticed who she was, nor her skill at all. Kong dominated the match and put in a great show with Terrell, which while was placed as a useless divas, throw around match of silliness, had strong impact in the two’s attempts to make magic. Fans, however, were unimpressed and thought the standards were below average. Ouch. Another meaningless battle then. Kong and Terrell’s contracts are also expiring after Slammiversary, unless Dixie Carter says it’s ‘not true’.

James Storm ploughed through TNA’s greatest ignorance and bitter disgrace in Magnus. The vanilla block of uselessness and un-gentlemanly ways within the business, failed to create a interesting final show. Storm won the match, which suffered technical difficulties, after the pair, using smoke screens and pathetic gimmicks to remain relevant, smacked one another with bottles. Storm collapsed onto Magnus and secured the pinfall.  Thank You and good luck in your future endeavours.

Ethan Carter III and the bumbling oaf of ignorance Tyrus beat the equally ignorant Bobby Lashley and his partner Mr. Anderson. The only saving grace her was Carter III, who unlike his aunt Dix, has chances to go places, even though he has ‘the name’ to which fans recognise Eith for his skill, not Carter’s tosh. A waste of his time. He cannot carry the brand in minor matches with useless entities watering him down.

PPV Rating – 4/10

Men/Women of their matches – Drew Galloway, DJ Z, Jessie Godderz, Bram, Austin Aries, Taryn Terrell, James Storm, Ethan Carter

Man/Woman of the PPV – Jeff Jarrett

One again, two years on from advice, TNA continue to sideline one chance of real talent as a mainstream star in Jessie Godderz. With the right booking, the body to match and the charisma available for any side run, Godderz continues to be overlooked. At which point if TNA take too long, it will cost him and themselves a great opportunity. 

Ethan Carter III is also another chancer that can go to the top. He looks good, body wise and with title as well as having the background skills, bar his surname, to carry them. TNA again, miss vital options. It is purely clueless.

Terrell. One of many TNA talents out
the door, post slammiversary
The rest of the show was filler. High flying moments, and few ‘surprise!’s’ and imbecilic matches that went nowhere did not excel amazement. Rubbish stars, touted ignorance for press attention and not liking the press response when you purpose leaked details to get ‘good’ responses are as tame as they come. You cannot pick and choose the reviews that come, abused on your tawdry levels of idiotic production. You are responsible for what you put out there and if fans are also paying, they have the right to review, let alone express public opinion, whether you don’t like the bad words. It was better than average due to the announcements and feel, but that's all TNA ever relies on, and the novelty wears off, quick. Fans are not entirely stupid, but TNA seems to treat them as such.

Kurt Angle, it's heavyweight World champion, was not there as another injury was damning him. He was actually having a public "daddy-daughter day" as he put it, in Disneyland. TNA already had the X-title and Tag Titles vacated for months and worried another one would ruin their legitimacy. 

Maybe you should make the product better then? An alien concept to TNA, who have been making it up as they go along with personal interest than professional means. Get in the game, or you’ll soon disappear from it. You can’t have it all your way. What egotistical maniac thinks that is achievable?

Grow up. With it, maybe the fans will finally respect you. Currently the lack of maturity in TNA from staff, management and workers does not encourage barely anyone to spend their money on what they view is a tarnished company with no wrestling knowledge, credibility or respectability. No-one front or back is viewed as capable of ‘saving’ TNA from what it used to be.

© Max Waltham 30th June 2015
All Rights Reserved

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