After years of chaos, Slammiversary is the company formerly known as TNA making a statement. Following a takeover which has seen them become Impact and now GFW, they are back under the control of Jeff Jarrett and moving into a new future. The question is whether that future is one we can be excited about or just more of the same.
My God was the pre-show match bad. Having not watched much of Impact I didn’t realise quite how awful the likes of KM and Mahabali Shera were. I was going to compare this to the kind of match you’d get in a school gym from your local indie promotions, but most indie promotions are better than this now. GFW has a good roster, but there’s still a lot of crap that needs flushing.
Tag Team Chaos
The tag team match that opened up Slammiversary was a whole lot of fun. It was far from perfect, and there were a couple of moments where people’s timing seemed to be slightly off, but the amount of talent in the ring got passed that. It’s a shame they didn’t do more to highlight the teams that were coming in, but I don’t know if we’ll see any more of the likes of Marifuji in GFW going forward. Either way, this was a fun spot fest that essentially took the place of the usual X Division multi-man chaos.
Robert Flores and Don West were desperate to get across the point that DeAngelo Williams was some kind of wrestling protege and while that might be a bit too much, the guy did well. Not being an American football fan I can’t pretend to know anything about him, but he’s naturally athletic, and he moves well for a big guy. It’s a shame he overshot the frog splash that finished the match, but that happens to the best. If Williams is interested in a career in wrestling, GFW would be silly not to give him a chance.
No More Straps
What is the point of a stipulation if one of the wrestlers can remove it for a few seconds with no punishment? Because that’s what happened in this match and yet apparently there were no repercussions for ECIII doing it. Then there was the finish, I mean what the hell was that? James Storm going down like a bag of tatties was a bizarre visual and led to confusion rather than heat on ECIII. For some reason strap matches seem to have come back into fashion, let’s hope they go out again as quickly as possible.
Focus On The Wrestling
Big shows should be wrestling heavy. Have your owl at the start or whatever, but 99% of the action should be in the ring. Yet, GFW couldn’t resist cutting to the back after nearly every match, and they couldn’t resist filling the show with authority figures. I don’t care where Bruce Pritchard is, he’s not going to wrestle, is he? I certainly don’t care about the owners of the company. If GFW wants to succeed they need to have faith in the product they present in the ring and let that do the talking.
The Announcers Pull It Off
I’ve never been a fan of involving the commentary team in angles. I still have nightmares about Michael Cole’s atrocious heel turn, and everything I’ve read about this Jeremy Borash vs. Josh Matthew’s feud sounded awful. However, this was a lot of fun. The decision to tap into a bit of the Broken Universe chaos was a clever one as it allowed them to hide the fact most of these guys either can’t work or are past their best. This could have easily been as big a disaster as Josh Matthew’s attempt at a Steiner Recliner, but they turned it into something a lot more entertaining.
A Full Metal Mayhem match between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards it a guaranteed highlight. It was the addition of Angelina Love and Alisha Edwards that worried me with this fight. Love is decent enough, but I’d never seen Alisha work. However, this eight-minute sprint was a lot of fun. The tack spot should have been avoided directly after the Abyss match, but they mixed it up a bit to keep it fresh. I would have rather had a twenty-minute match between Edwards and Richards, but this wasn’t offensive.
Wrestling In A Suit Is Stupid
Seriously, someone needs to grab Low Ki and tell him to stop pissing about. He’s a great wrestler, but he looks ridiculous and considering this is a man who is infamous for taking himself too seriously I’m not quite sure what he thinks it achieves. It doesn’t help that we seemed to get slow and methodical Loki, the worst version of him too. This was the match I was most excited about coming into the PPV, and it left me cold despite there being flashes of how good Sonjay Dutt and Low Ki are. I’m not going to blame that entirely on the suit, but it definitely didn’t help.
Rosemary Is Awesome
I give GFW/TNA a lot of stick, but it’s worth pointing out that they were giving women’s wrestling a platform long before WWE realised it was a good idea. Rosemary is an excellent example of the way they did that. They are happy to let their women embrace unusual characters and make them their own. This zombie woman could have easily been ridiculous, but she’s not and instead she’s got a really cool aesthetic. The match was solid but ruined by the overbooking coming into play just as it was heating up. It’s Rosemary that will live long in the memory, though.
The main event kind of summed up my issue with Slammiversary. The opening clusterfuck and the Broken Universe style comedy in the announcer clash aside, nothing on this show was memorable. Coming off New Japan in Long Beach – which had at least four matches that will live long in the memory – this just wasn’t good enough. Patron and Lashley are both decent enough wrestlers as were 90% of the people on this card but if GFW wants to succeed they need more than that.