A2Z Analysiz: Slammiversary XV (Alberto El Patron, Lashley)

Universal Studios – Orlando, FL – Sunday, July 2, 2017

Robert Flores and Don West are on commentary. The Pope joins them for the fourth match.

~MATCH #1~
Impact Wrestling World Tag Team and GFW Tag Team Champions Latin American Xchange (Ortiz & Santana) (w/ Diamante, Homicide, and Konnan) (representing Impact) defeat Drago & El Hijo del Fantasma, (representing AAA), Garza Jr. & Laredo Kid (representing The Crash), and Naomichi Marufuji & Taiji Ishimori (representing NOAH) to unify the titles at 15:11. LAX have been the Impact Tag Champs since 3.30.17, and this is their second defense; they’ve been the GFW Champions since 6.1.17, and this is their first defense. This match will be contested under Lucha Rules, so expect non-stop action here. All four teams show impressive teamwork and skill, and it’s very difficult for any one team to establish dominance for too long. Diamante gets involved on more than one occasion, and Homicide interferes as well by hitting a Gringo Killer on Garza Jr. on the ring apron. The battle goes on both in and out of the ring, with lots of high flying and close near-falls from all four teams. In the end, LAX traps Kid alone in the ring and they hit him with the Doomsday Powerbomb to unify the titles. Hot action and a great choice to open there, with four unique teams getting to just go out there and show off.
Rating: ****

~MATCH #2~
Moose & DeAngelo Williams (w/ Austin Dillon & Gary Barnidge) defeat Eli Drake & Chris Adonis at 10:35. Moose is the current Impact Grand Champion, but this match carries no specific title implications. He and his rookie partner do a great job in the early going, controlling Drake and Adonis seemingly with ease. Surprisingly, when Drake and Adonis do take control, they isolate Moose. It doesn’t last for too long before Williams gets a hot tag and he does an awesome job with his house afire. The referee loses control and Williams sends both Adonis and Drake to the floor, where Moose is recovering. Moose goes up to the second rope and wipes out both opponents with a moonsault. They get a table into the ring, and Adonis is laid out with Moose holding him down. Williams goes up top and hits a splash (overshooting it a little bit so the table didn’t break) and that’s enough to get the pin. I had zero expectations for this and it was tons of fun. DeAngelo Williams could’ve easily pursued wrestling after this. No one watches TNA pay-per-views, so I can see why there wasn’t much hullabaloo about his performance, but it’s; up there as a top celebrity performance of all-time.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #3~
Ethan Carter III defeats James Storm at 10:40 in a Strap Match. Storm is confident and EC3 is cocky before the bell rings, so the dynamic has been set. Man, EC3 is SUCH a good heel. Storm is the aggressor early on and isn’t shy about using the strap. EC3 has to try running away to regroup, and eventually it pays off. He wears Storm down for several minutes, and then finds a pair of handcuffs under the ring. EC3 tries to cuff Storm to the top turnbuckle, but Storm reverses it and cuffs EC3 instead! Storm wears him out with the strap, dishing out 32 lashes with the strap, which is one more than EC3 had given Storm in the buildup to this match. Referee Brian Hebner unlocks EC3, who runs right into his own finishing move, the 1%er, but he kicks out. EC3 rolls to the floor and the strap has fallen off his wrist. He uses that to his advantage by pulling Storm into the ring post. Back in the ring EC3 hits the 1%er, and Storm kicks out at two! Storm gets up and hits a Last Call, but then collapses. The commentators sell it as residual effects from being pulled into the ring post. EC3 hits a Jay Driller to get the pin. I really liked the layout and the finish of this match – not so much the Storm collapsing part, but the EC3 putting a bullet through his brain with a Jay Driller and then making a look like, “well, he shouldn’t have fought me.”
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #4~
Abyss & Jeremy Borash defeat Josh Mathews & Scott Steiner at 10:53 in a No Disqualification match. The match starts with Borash teaming with Joseph Park, and the obvious advantage is with Steiner and Mathews from the start. Park and Borash get scared run backstage, and then out of the arena entirely. Steiner and Mathews give chase, even commandeering a fan’s car. Borash and Mathews wind up in a pool, where Shark Boy shows up to help Borash. Then we cut over to Park, who stares in astonishment as Father James Mitchell stands before him with Abyss’s mask! “Happy Slammiversary,” he says. I kinda love that. Steiner and Mathews make their way back to the arena with Borash, and Mathews misses a big Swanton Bomb. Borash fights back with a Spear, but Steiner is there to help. Mathews puts on the worst looking Steiner Recliner ever, and then Shark Boy shows up. Steiner quickly takes him out. He then puts the awful looking Steiner Recliner on Mathews, and Abyss’ music hits! Mitchell shows up in the entranceway, and Abyss is in the ring! Abyss cleans house and spreads out a bag of thumb tacks. He hits a Black Hole Slam on the tacks, and then Borash comes off the top rope with a splash, which is enough for Abyss to get the pin. That was positively absurd in every possible way, but I legitimately enjoyed it. Given the participants there was no way this would’ve been a good match without bells and whistles and they went all out in a direction that worked. I’m still shocked that I liked this match.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #5~
Eddie Edwards & Alisha Edwards defeat Davey Richards & Angelina Love at in a Full Metal Mayhem match at 8:44. The Edwards duo attack during Richards and Love’s entrance, and away we go. All possible weapons get involved early on, and the women aren’t shy about attacking the men. Love brings out a bag of thumb tacks, just like they did in the last match. They pour some down Edwards’s mouth, and Alisha comes to the rescue. Alisha takes out Love, and Richards fights Edwards on top of a ladder. Edwards wins that battle and brings Richards down with a Sunset Bomb through a table. Fun chaos here, but I felt like they could’ve gone a little bit longer. Also, whoever allowed two thumb tack spots in consecutive matches should have their head examined.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #6~
Impact X-Division Champion Sonjay Dutt defeats Low Ki two falls to one in a Best Two Out Of Three Falls match at 18:17 to retain the title. Dutt has been the Champion since 6.15.17, and this is his first defense. This is during the Low Ki’s “Hitman” phase, where he dressed like a video game character that’s had two terrible movies based on it. They start with a feeling out process, trading holds back and forth. Dutt takes the first sustained advantage and targets the neck. Ki fights back and they take it up to the top rope. Dutt tries a super rana but Ki rolls through and delivers a vicious double stomp to score the first fall at 7:30. The second fall spills right to the floor, and Ki continues to hold the advantage. Momentum swings back and forth, and Ki makes a mistake when he misses a double stomp onto the steel ring steps, injuring his ankle after previously feigning the same injury. Dutt locks on a half crab, which Ki counters into another double stomp off the second rope. Ki tries the dragon sleeper but Dutt counters that into a cradle to win the second fall at 13:42. Using the half crab to finish the second fall would’ve made infinitely more sense. The third fall sees both men going for big moves in an effort to go home with the title. Ki goes for a true Warrior’s War, but Dutt grabs him by the tie and hurls him down to the mat. Dutt goes up and hits The Moonsault Double Stomp to get the pin. They put a lot of effort into making this feel epic, and they did a reasonably good job. The ending of the second fall really made no sense given the match they were having up to that point, but the third fall finish negated that a bit.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #7~
GFW Women’s Champion Sienna defeats Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Rosemary at 10:32 to unify the titles. Rosemary has been the Champion since 12.1.16, and this is her sixth defense; Sienna has been Champion since 5.4.17, and this is her second defense. TNA Hall of Famer Gail Kim is out to hold up both belts before the match. And that’s it. As Sienna and Rosemary go at it, KM and Laurel Van Ness come out to ringside. Van Ness and KM provide enough of a distraction that Sienna takes control. They battle back and forth and each hit finishers, but when Rosemary hits the Red Wedding, Van Ness runs back out and pulls referee < b>Earl Hebner to the floor. Allie runs out and chases Van Ness away with a kendo stick. Meanwhile, Sienna hits Rosemary with one of the belts but Rosemary kicks out at two! Sienna then puts on a Rear Naked Choke and Rosemary taps out. This was way overbooked and the match just never really clicked. This is the second Slammiversary in a row that Sienna won the title.
Rating: **

~MATCH #8~
GFW Global Champion Alberto El Patron (w/ Dos Caras) defeats Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Lashley (w/ King Mo) to unify the titles at 18:08. Jeff Jarrett comes out to thank the fans for making his company last 15 years, and he wishes good luck to both competitors. Both men are aggressive to start, and the fight quickly spills to the floor. King Mo and Dos Caras both get involved by no disqualifications are called. Momentum shifts back and forth, as both men have everything on the line here. Lashley tries a lot of big power moves, and Alberto frequently goes for the Cross Armbreaker. For some reason, Alberto gets into a shoving match with King Mo on the floor, and then walks right into a Lashley Cross Armbreaker, but he knows how to escape his own hold. Lashley then hits a vicious Spear but it only gets two. They go back to the floor and Mo tries to get involved again, so Dos Caras kicks him in the nuts. Lashley defends his friend from that assault and it allows Alberto to take an advantage. Alberto hits that ridiculously contrived double stomp to become the unified Champion. The match was perfectly solid, but Alberto El Patron was never a great choice to be the focal point of any company, so the finish felt flat in several ways. They tried hard to make it feel big, but it all come off a little forced.
Rating: ***

A2Z Analysiz
The main event is good-ish but not great, and the semi-main event was a letdown. However, the opening match is great, and the undercard finds some fun material with the two shockingly enjoyable tag matches featuring non-wrestlers, and the EC3 v Storm and X Division Title matches were very good. The only other disappointment was Full Metal Mayhem, but they certainly worked hard so it’s not terrible or anything. Also at just under three hours it’s a nice change of pace from the marathon WWE shows, so if you have the Global Wrestling Network I’d say it’s worth a look.

Tags: , , , ,