A2Z Analysiz: TNA Slammiversary ‘08 (Samoa Joe, Booker T, Christian Cage, Rhino, Robert Roode)

DeSoto Civic Center – Southaven, Mississippi – 6.8.08

MATCH #1: TNA X-Division Title Match – Petey Williams vs. Kaz

Williams has been champion since 4.17.08 and this is his first defense. Kaz won the Terror Dome match at Sacrifice to earn this shot. The champion is accompanied by both Rhaka Khan and Scott Steiner. Williams is wearing a mask to help protect his broken orbital bone. Kaz appears to have his arm taped up, so these guys are in rough shape. They start off with some chain wrestling and stuff on the mat. Kaz tries a Wave of the Future but Williams reverses to a Canadian Destroyer, but Kaz reverses that. The challenger dropkicks Williams in the corner and the champ takes a powder. Back in the ring Kaz maintains control, so Williams takes another powder. This time Kaz follows him out and runs into Khan. That allows Williams to jump off the ring apron with a tornado DDT. Back in the ring now Williams starts wearing Kaz down. Kaz comes back with a sunset flip for two and an O’Connor roll for two. Williams kicks Kaz to the floor and follows him out with a slingshot hurricanrana. Back in the ring the champ remains firmly in control. Kaz flips out of a back body drop and hits a kick to the chest. Both men are down. They get to their feet and Kaz unleashes a flurry of offense, including a spinebuster for two. Kaz hits a slingshot DDT for two. He then hits an innovative Ace Crusher for another near-fall. Williams comes back with the 61Dropkick and then the Canadian Legsweep. He hits a sick leg-capture DDT but Kaz once again kicks out at two. The champ goes up top and Kaz kicks him in the face. Kaz joins Williams on the top rope and they both tease their finishers. Williams wins the battle by dropping Kaz’s right arm down on the top rope. Kaz blocks the Canadian Legsweep with a backslide, and then blocks a Canadian Destroyer with a reverse inverted piledriver. Williams kicks out at two, and then Khan comes in the ring and reveals that she’s barely trained to take a dropkick. With the referee distracted, Steiner slips Williams a lead pipe (ha ha) and the champ lays some pipe (ha ha) on Kaz’s head. Kaz is busted open something fierce here, but he still kicks out at two. Williams takes off the faceguard and locks Kaz in the Sharpshooter and they’re so obviously going for the Hart versus Austin thing, but thankfully they don’t stretch it out. Kaz escapes and hits Williams with the Wave of the Future for two. Steiner tries to interfere but Kaz kicks him off the apron. Williams has enough time to recover and hit the Canadian Destroyer to get the pin and retain the title at 15:19.

After the match Steiner, Williams, and Khan continue the beating on Kaz. Steiner gets on the microphone to bemoan the fact that he doesn’t have a match tonight. He says that TNA is scared of a guy like him being champion. He threatens to injure Kaz and keep him from his World Title shot this Thursday. For some reason Abyss comes to the rescue and hits a trifecta of Black Hole Slams. I don’t really understand the Abyss thing and it led nowhere as far as I remember. The match was going all just fine but I think the blood took away from it because it was so clearly unnecessary.
Rating: ***

Eric Young comes out and says he found Elvis Presley. Then they show a video package for Kevin Nash, who will be the Special Enforcer for tonight’s main event King of the Mountain match.

MATCH #2: Gail Kim, ODB & Roxxi Laveaux vs. Angelina Love, Velvet Sky & Moose

Moose is of course Mickie Knuckles from IWA-Mid South. One time she decided along with MsChif that they were going to attack me and start throwing chops at me while I was refereeing for them. They never mentioned it to me and it was never part of the story in any way. Then she yelled at me about trying to protect myself, as if I should have just been expecting to be attacked in the middle of a match.

Love and Sky throw Moose to the wolves and watch as she gets triple-teamed. Moose takes a powder and the Beautiful People try to leave but Kim and ODB retrieve them as Roxxi goes after Moose. Love grabs Roxxi’s foot from the floor to distract her and Moose hits a flapjack for two. Sky tags in and the People wear Roxxi down. After a few minutes Kim gets tagged in and she goes to work on Sky. Kim knocks Love and Moose to the floor and hits Sky with a cross body block off the top rope for two. She goes into the ropes and Love trips her from the floor. Now the People go after Kim’s knee, which appears to be taped. After several minutes Kim makes the tag. ODB is a house afire and the match breaks down to a brawl. Moose and ODB are the last two left in the ring, and ODB hits a powerslam to get the pin at 10:15. They stuck to the tag team formula and nothing interesting happened.
Rating: *½

Next up is a special video package and interview with Rhino, who qualified for King of the Mountain by defeating James Storm on the May 29 iMPACT!

MATCH #3: TNA World Tag Team Title Match – The Latin American Xchange vs. Team 3D

Homicide and Hernandez have been the TNA World Tag Team Champions since 5.11.08 and this is their first defense. Brother Devon and Hernandez start the match. The former reverend takes a cheap shot and starts wearing Hernandez down. Hernandez comes back with a flying shoulder block and makes the tag to Homicide. The champions double-team Devon for a near-fall. Devon goes to the eyes and tags Brother Ray into the match. The crowd is distracted by their desire to see tables; I’m distracted by Salinas’s gravitational pull. Meanwhile, Homicide is focusing his attack on Ray’s arm. Ray reverses a monkey flip and sets Homicide up on the top turnbuckle. He slaps Homicide in the face, and then stupidly turns his back so Homicide can hit him with a dropkick when he turns around. Devon comes in illegally and Hernandez takes them down and Team 3D powders. Hernandez follows them out with a dive, and then Homicide follows that with a Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring Homicide goes up top and Devon pushes him down to the floor. Ray goes after Homicide, and also takes out Hector Guerrero and Salinas. Back in the ring Team 3D isolates Homicide and wears him down. Devon misses a headbutt off the second rope and Homicide makes the tag. Unfortunately Ray was distracting the referee so he won’t allow it. Moments later Homicide is able to hit a super jawbreaker and this time the referee sees the tag. Hernandez is en fuego, throwing Team 3D all over the ring. Homicide tags back in and hits a cross body off the top rope on Ray for two. Team 3D comes back and sets Hernandez up for the What’s Up but Homicide breaks it up. Hernandez sets Ray up for the What’s Up and Johnny Devine runs into the ring with a kendo stick. Guerrero pulls Devine to the floor and hits him with the stick, which distracts the referee long enough for Salinas to complete the What’s Up on Ray. Salinas wisely wipes her mouth afterwards. Then for some reason Hernandez just stands there and does nothing so that Devon can throw him to the floor. Devon sets Homicide up top but Hernandez comes back in and LAX hits the Doomsday Gringo Cutter. Hernandez hits Ray with a spinebuster and Homicide follows up with a Frog Splash, but Devon pulls the referee to the floor. Homicide tries to take Devon out with a dive but Devon moves out of the way. Hernandez goes after Devon, and Ray hits him with a low blow from behind. Team 3D goes for the 3D but Homicide sneaks in and schoolboys Ray to get the pin at 15:00. That was the usual Team 3D garbage with a lot of awkward spots.
Rating: *¼

Next up is a special video package and interview with Robert Roode, who qualified for King of the Mountain by defeating Matt Morgan on the May 22 iMPACT!

MATCH #4: Kong Open Challenge Match

This is an open challenge, in which the TNA Women’s Champion challenges a fan, and if that fan can defeat her, they get $25,000. The title does not appear to be on the line. Two women volunteer, Serena Deeb and Josie Robinson, who happen to be fully trained wrestlers. Kong and Raisha Saeed pick Deeb, and she signs a waiver.

Deeb tries to take Kong down but gets thrown back. She tries to use a sleeper, but Kong once again slams her to the mat. They take it to the floor and Kong swings Deeb into the guardrail and throws her all around ringside. Kong takes a shot at Robinson as well. Back in the ring Kong hits the Implant Buster to get the pin at 2:27.

On her way to the back Kong gets into it again with Josie Robinson, and they agree to another match. Robinson slaps Kong in the face and takes it right to her. That angers Kong and she throws Robinson back into the guardrail and throws her around the ringside area. Kong misses a punch at hits the ring post, and Robinson rolls back in the ring and looks ready to go. Robinson tries a kick but Kong catches it and hits a back fist to the face. Kong returns the favor with a slap to the face and then squashes her in the corner. She follows up with the Awesome Bomb to get the pin at about 0:57 (I never heard an opening bell).

Now things get stupider as Eric Young comes out to announce that he found the real Elvis Presley. The Elvis impersonator gets in the ring and also takes an Awesome Bomb. You see TNA, pay-per-view is the place where you blow off angles like this, not present a pointless continuation.
Rating: DUD

Next up is a special video package and interview with Christian Cage, who qualified for King of the Mountain by defeating Tomko on the May 29 iMPACT!

Jay Lethal and SoCal Val Wedding

The groomsmen are American Idol finalist Ace Young, “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Koko B. Ware, and George “the Animal” Steele. Tenay wonders who will be next, and then says that Roberts was “foreshadowed” by Dutt, but that’s not true at all. Dutt straight up announced who the groomsmen were going to be. Shut up Tenay, just shut the f*ck up for once. The Maid of Honor is Sarah Dunnigan (sp?) and the Best Man is Sonjay Dutt. Of course Dutt interferes and says that Val should marry him instead. Dutt then attacks Lethal. Ace Young tries to help out, but he’s Ace Young. The groomsmen come to the rescue. That was pretty pointless and made Lethal look like a complete wimp.

Next up is a special video package and interview with Booker T, who qualified for King of the Mountain by defeating AJ Styles on the May 22 iMPACT!

MATCH #5: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles

They start off cautiously but aggressively. Angle takes it to the mat, which is obviously a good move on his part. Styles comes back with a series of armdrags that sends Angle to the floor. Back in the ring Angle unleashes a series of European Uppercuts and Styles comes back with the exact dropkick sequence he works in the beginning of every match ever. Tomko distracts Styles, allowing Angle to poke the eyes and go back to work. Styles avoids a charge in the corner and hits the springboard flying forearm. Angle knocks Styles down to the floor and Tomko stalks him. Referee Earl Hebner jumps to the floor and banishes Tomko to the back. Angle throws Styles into the guardrail behind the referee’ back, as West acts like that’s getting away with something, like it hasn’t been done all night. Back in the ring Styles knocks Angle off the apron with a forearm and then wipes him out with a dive. Styles gets a one-count off that. Angle comes back by slamming Styles down to the mat a couple of times. Now Angle is firmly in control, wearing Styles down. Styles has a bit of a bloody nose. They fight up on the top rope as Angle goes for a superplex, but Styles reverses to a gourdbuster. Back on their feet Styles gets a second wind and hits Angle with a flurry of offense, including a pumphandle gutbuster for two. Styles hits the hangman’s neckbreaker for two. Angle pops up and starts hitting German Suplexes. Nice selling, Kurt. Styles reverses to one of his own, and Angle flips all the way over so he lands on his chest. Back on their feet Styles tries a discuss lariat but Angle ducks and hits the same suplex that Styles just hit on him. Styles pops up and hits an enziguiri. Back on their feet Angle suplexes Styles into the turnbuckles for a two-count. Angle tries the Angle Slam but Styles reverses to a DDT for two. Styles tries the Styles Clash but Angle rolls through into an Ankle Lock, and Styles rolls through that. The champ hits the flipping inverted DDT for another two-count. Styles goes up top and Angle pops up (Tenay calls it a “quick burst of energy” but I call it “being a no-selling piece of shit”) and hits a Super Angle Slam, but it only gets two. The straps come down and Angle locks on the Ankle Lock, but Styles gets a rollup for two. Styles hits the Pele and gets a two-count. He goes for the Styles Clash again but Angle reverses to an Ankle Lock. Styles kicks Angle off and the referee gets bumped. He then knocks Angle to the floor. Karen Angle makes her way out with a steel chair. She’s so hot. Anyway, she distracts her husband, allowing Styles to hit him with the Styles Clash and get the pin at 22:45.

After the match Styles and Karen hug, so Kurt cracks Styles across the back with the chair. Karen slaps her husband across the face and then runs, so he spits on her. Kurt starts beating on Styles again and Tomko returns to assist him by fighting off security. Despite the feud being so stupid, the match was going along just fine until the stupid finish. It was still very good, but they let the storyline overwhelm the match, and the storyline sucks.
Rating: ***½

Next up is a special video package and interview with TNA World Champion Samoa Joe, who qualified for King of the Mountain by defeating Kurt Angle to win the TNA World Title on the April 13 Lockdown pay-per-view.

MATCH #6: King of the Mountain Match for the TNA World Title – Samoa Joe vs. Booker T vs. Christian Cage vs. Rhino vs. Robert Roode

Joe has been the champion since 4.13.08, and this is his third defense. This is Joe’s second King of the Mountain match, T’s first, Cage’s third, Rhino’s first, and Roode’s first. That gives Christian and Joe a distinct advantage. Tenay steals my heat by giving those same facts that I just typed.

The only challenger made to look like he has a chance is Booker T. Cage and Roode quickly take it to the floor and Rhino joins them, leaving Joe and T alone in the ring. Moments later they all trade places. T makes his way back to the ring and hurls Cage off the top rope to the floor, and then goes to work on Rhino in the ring. Rhino clotheslines T to the floor, and then Joe gets in the ring to square off with Rhino. Roode recovers and goes after Joe, but misses a dive off the second rope as Joe nonchalantly walks away. Joe hits the big Joe Combo for a two-count. Cage gets back in the ring and Joe beats him up too. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Cage avoids it, but he can’t avoid a snap powerslam for two. T comes in and Joe has a snap powerslam for him as well. The champion is dominating everyone until T pulls him to the floor and throws him into the penalty box. Back in the ring T hits Rhino with the Bookend to get the pin. Rhino has to spend two minutes in the penalty box, but I hate how the timer starts immediately rather than when they actually get in the box. T and Joe fight over a ladder, and Cage dropkicks it to take both of them out. Roode rejoins Cage in the ring and hits a blockbuster for two. Rhino gets out of the cage and goes after his tag team partner. He hits Cage with a belly-to-belly-suplex and signals for the Gore, but Joe blocks it. Joe gets back in the ring and hits Cage with the STJoe. We’re over 10 minutes in and only one man is eligible to hang the belt thus far. Joe sees Roode, T, and Rhino clustered on the floor, so he dives over the top rope to wipe them out. Cage follows with a dive off the penalty box to take out everyone. Cage gets back up and sets up a table, and then throws a ladder into the ring. He also throws a chair in, which Roode takes from him and hits the ladder back into Cage’s face to get a pin and become eligible to hang the belt. Rhino gets a quick rollup on Roode, so Roode will join Cage in the penalty box. Roode protests, so Nash forces him into the cage. Rhino tries to hang the belt but T pushes the ladder down. Joe locks T in the Choke. Meanwhile Cage gets out of the penalty box and hits a Frog Splash off the top of it to break up the Choke and gets a pin on T. Roode looks to hang the belt but Joe suplexes him off the ladder. Cage goes up to hang the belt, but Joe joins him and the replay the spot from last year with Joe hitting an Ace Crusher. Rhino hits Joe with the Gore. T gets out of the penalty box and he grabs the belt from Nash and then hits him in the face with it. He hits Rhino, Joe, Roode, and Cage with it as well. He goes up the ladder to hang the belt, but Nash interferes and Jackknifes T right off the ladder. Cage gets Gored off the apron through the table he had set up minutes ago. Roode hits Joe with a Northern Lariat and then knocks Rhino to the floor. It’s down to just Joe and Roode in the ring. Joe hits Roode with a Muscle Buster off the ladder to finally become eligible. He goes up and hangs the belt to become the first champion to retain his title in the King of the Mountain match at 19:51.

That was a fun collection of spots and there was very little down time, but only one of the challengers had any real heat on him and he had just started feuding with Joe so the outcome seemed so obvious. I did like the way they spaced the falls, and I especially like the finish.
Rating: ***¼

The Pulse: Of the six matches, three of them are three stars or higher, which seems good. But the highest of them was three-and-a-half stars, and it was a bit of a letdown. The middle of the show is pretty brutal, particularly the wedding. AJ Styles and Kurt Angle would have multiple matches (some better than this one), so there was really nothing at all essential here.

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