I feel TNA has done an excellent job building up to this PPV, and the last few weeks of TV have been pretty solid and coherent as far as build-up, storylines, and angles go. Everything makes sense and is building up to the logical conclusion and blow-off at the PPV.
I liked last year's Slammiversary a lot, it was pretty significant for Joe's TNA debut, Alex Shelley's return, and Raven finally winning the world title. This year the surprise is all about who the new TNA director of authority is going to be. And I suppose we already know who it is.
Pre-show Match: Team Canada (Eric Young and A1) vs. The Naturals Well Shane Douglas is guiding the Naturals now, and I guess this is the start of their come back push. Logic dictates that they have to go over here. Especially considering that A1 and Young usually do the job. Winners: I pick the Naturals to go over.
X Division Ranking Match: Senshi vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs. Sharkboy To my knowledge, this is the second time TNA has held this match, the first time being in 2002 which Low Ki won. The match is under elimination rules, the stipulation being that the winner and final survivor is the #1 contender for the X division title. Future title defenses are dictated by the order of elimination. This is a tough one to call. Senshi is undefeated in his return to TNA so far. They made a big deal out of it and did some cool promo vids for him. I would think he would have to win this match. But Shelley is rising up there as well, especially now that he's been paired with Nash so I could also see him taking this one. So I feel the final winner will be either Senshi or Shelley. Winner: I'll go with Senshi.
Kevin Nash vs. Chris Sabin Despite the complaint about how the feud would turn out, so far I'd say it's been booked pretty strong. Nash isn't having matches and squashing X division wrestlers in 30 seconds. It's helped build up a great and charismatic performer in Alex Shelley and given him more face time and a good personality to work off of in Kevin Nash. And I dunno, I'm hoping Sabin comes out of this well enough. I could see the match going two ways. I could see it being where Sabin is surprisingly dominant in the match, and Nash cheats in order to win to prolong the feud. Or, Nash basically dominates and crushes Sabin for most of it, but Sabin hangs on and gets the upset victory, which I suppose could still prolong the feud. This is provided that Kevin Nash doesn't have another "medical emergency" or excuse not to perform. I don't think this well be an excellent bout or anything, but the TV time its gotten makes me want to see it. And that's why I feel TNA is doing a good job with the booking. Winner: I think Nash will take it through screwiness to prolong the feud.
Bingo Hall Brawl: Team 3D vs. The James Gang I kind of like Team 3D, and I hate the James Gang, but I still want to see this. Say what you will about these two teams as they are now, but their match last month was decent enough, or at least wasn't horrible. Team 3D's promos have gotten more humorous and I like them, especially Ray constantly taking digs on Devon. Team 3D get their win back over the James Gang, to end this feud. Hopefully they will finally finish their business with AMW or go after the tag titles again. Also where is Brother Runt? I don't think we've seen him at all since Lockdown, unless you count Hardcore war. Winners: Team 3D
Handicap Match: Bobby Roode and Scott D'Amore vs. Rhino It made the news that Rhino re-signed with TNA and would stay with the company deciding not to go to the new WWECW. I would hope if Rhino watched the first episode any doubts he had would now be erased. I think staying in TNA is the best thing for Rhino right now and he will get showcased more this way. Roode won their bout last month at Sacrifice. Rhino demanded this match for vengeance over D'Amore and his constant interference. D'Amore has been training hard for this once and as seen on Impact was suspended from his sweets and goodies privileges. I don't really care for handicap matches, and I don't expect much from this one. All I ask is that no one de-pants D'Amore like Lance Hoyt did at Slammiversary last year. Winner: Rhino after goring and pinning D'Amore.
Grudge Match: Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner Watch this promo and tell me you DO NOT want to see this match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hclT8KyFBxQ. The booking and build-up to this match has been excellent, so I wonder if Steiner can go the distance, or how hard Joe will have to work to cover for him. Steiner's mostly worked tag matches to protect and cover up his weaknesses so far. I don't expect this to go more than 9-13 minutes. I'm worried about Joe since he's just coming off of a knee injury, and I fear Steiner might screw something up. To have Joe lose right now, or in this match to Steiner would be absolute stupidity. TNA needs to only look at Joe's DVD sales and see that this is something they do NOT want to fuck with right now. Winner: The Samoan Submission Machine
You know, if I wasn't working on Sunday, I would order this show, my first TNA PPV in years. There are only two reasons-Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner and AMW vs. AJ/Daniels. Thanks Vile for that Youtube link about Joe-Steiner.
King of the Mountain- No champ has retained, and I think that holds here. I say they give it back to Jeff Jarrett and set up Jarrett-Joe in the coming months. Winner- Double J
Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner- I envision an entertaining war, and I think Steiner will get frustrated and use some sort of object (X-Division belt, or chain or something) to get himself DQ'ed. The feud can continue next month, and that's when Joe can get the definitive win. Winner- Samoa Joe
AMW vs. AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels- A pure hope pick as I'm a big AJ Styles mark. Winner- AJ/Chris
Rhino vs. D'Amore/Roode- Rhino will win this match to stay strong. Winner- Rhino
Six Way X-Division match- Gotta set up Senshi's chances to take the X-Division title. In fact, I could envision a match on Impact where Steiner interferes and costs Joe his first match, which also frees Joe of the X-Division...uh...division. Winner- Senshi
Nash vs. Sabin- I so don't want Nash to win, but I pick him anyways. Winner- Kevin Nash
Team 3-D vs. The James Gang- I hope the match is decent, and I hope they get fans to throw their chairs in again just like in the ECW Arena (okay, not really). Winner- The James Gang
Naturals vs. Team Canada- I agree with Vile, there is no point on getting them a manager and then have them lose. Winner- Da Naturals
There's a thing on 411 that says "MAJOR SLAMMIVERSARY SPOILER~" but I haven't read it -- these predictions are all natural!
Team Canada (Eric Young and A1) vs. The Naturals I thought this was going to be the Nats vs. LAX, which would have been a lot harder to predict. But the Nats against the jobbingest half of TC? Nats win -- LAX punks them out afterward.
X Division Ranking Match: Senshi vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Petey Williams vs. Sharkboy Yeah, tey did this once before, but the rankings were almost entirely ignored immediately thereafter (partially due to Xers comings and goings, which have slowed down since then). Senshi wins. Order of elimination is as above -- Sharkboy first and on from there.
Kevin Nash vs. Chris Sabin Nash wins due to Shelleynanigans. Sabin clenches fists.
Team 3D vs. The James Gang 3D, due to the returning Runt -- unless he's neutralized by the returning Waltman~!
America's Most Wanted vs. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels Styles & Daniels, thanks to whoever they bring in to balance out Gail Kim -- Ivory? Mickie Knuckles? MsChief? Jade Chung? A.C. Jazz? Oh, wait, probably Jackie Gayda.
Bobby Roode and Scott D'Amore vs. Rhino I'd really like to disagree with Vile sometime here, but come on. Rhino kills D'Amore dead.
Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner Joe wins. Steiner is the wrong guy to end the streak. Possible interference by Nash & Sheeley -- even more likely if Shelley wins the elimination match.
Christian Cage vs. Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. The Truth vs. Abyss Jarrett wins. Here's what happens: Sting "only wants to keep Jarrett from winning." Cage doesn't believe him (shame, Cage!). Cage's mistrust of Sting causes him to interfere with Sting's last-ditch effort to keep JJ away from the title -- Jeff wins. Sting and Cage have a falling out -- maybe Cage goes heel. Jeff loses the title to Sting in two or three months, while Cage feuds with...Killings and Rhino, I guess.
Last 5 movies seen: Charlie Chan in Egypt - Down Argentine Way - 16 Blocks - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - X-Men: The Last Stand
Team Canada v. The Naturals The Naturals are the team with the storyline, having just gotten Shane Douglas to manage them and Douglas saying that he'll do "anything" to make them an elite tag team again. This is obviously foreshadowing a heel turn for them, but not just yet. Anyway, Naturals win with the Natural Disaster, hopefully on Savory Steak Sauce Boy (TM Eric Szulczewski).
X-Division Rankings Match I just do not get why everyone's on the Senshi Kool-Aid. Sure, Low Ki's a great wrestler, but dear god, he just showed up, and he doesn't do much for me as far as the entertainment aspect of the show goes. The guy who deserves the next big run with the X-Division title and the rub from beating Samoa Joe is the guy who will win this match: Alex Shelley. He's done nothing but give 110% every week and put out some of the most funny and entertaining shit I've seen ever since the start of the year, with almost nothing whatsoever to show for it, and TNA needs to rectify that injustice. Order of elimination: Shark Boy, Sonjay Dutt, Senshi, Petey Williams, Jay Lethal.
Kevin Nash v. Chris Sabin As fucked up as this sounds, Nash winning the match is actually the correct booking. This whole "X-Division is a joke" angle has been perversely entertaining, but if Sabin wins right off the bat it's pretty much dead in the water. I'm fully expecting Sabin to dominate the match and Nash to only win thanks to an assist from Shelley, and Sabin (after he finishes off Nash at the next PPV) will be Shelley's first challenger after Shelley wins the title. (Screw the rankings; I'm sure that they'll ignore them.)
Team 3D v. The James Gang I'll be very surprised if Team 3D doesn't even this series up here. It's a battle of two of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history, and such "legends" feuds should never be one-sided. Plus, as much bashing of the new ECW as the Dudleys are doing on the air, you're kidding yourselves if you honestly believe that they don't want to go back, and TNA needs to do whatever they can to make sure the Dudleys are happy and want to stick around. (Jobbing them, in what's essentially an ECW rules match, certainly wouldn't help matters.)
Rhino v. Bobby Roode & Coach D'Amore This match officially became a foregone conclusion once the news of Rhino re-signing with TNA (against all expectations) became public. Usually, there's no way I'll go through a TNA show without predicting at least one Team Canada win, but Rhino's re-signing supercedes that. I doubt very much that Rhino would want to resign and job to Roode again. Don't worry about Roode - the only reason D'Amore's there is to eat the pinfall.
America's Most Wanted v. A.J. Styles & Christopher Daniels I expect the long reign of AMW to finally end. Given AMW's streak of success against Styles & Daniels, the challengers need to win in order to justify their continued existence outside the X-Division (which is essential so that guys like Shelley, Lethal, and Senshi can have their shot), and they also need to pay off A.J. & Chris's promise of an equalizer for Gail Kim (which will probably be Christy Hemme). Don't expect AMW to be without the titles for long - I fully expect Harris & Storm to get them back no later than the next PPV so that the stage is set in proper for the downfall of Jarrett's Army at Bound for Glory in October.
Samoa Joe v. Scott Steiner Samoa Joe kills bitches dead. That's all you need to know. As for Steiner, don't worry, he'll get his revenge... when he helps Shelley win the X-Division title from Joe on Impact next week.
King of the Mountain Match As much as it pains me to admit it, they have to get the world title back on Jarrett soon, because they're nuts if Jarrett/Joe isn't already set in stone for Bound for Glory. There's never going to be a better opportunity than this, as Jarrett can win the title without actually beating Christian for it (which has to be the way Christian loses it, in order to maintain his main event cred). Everyone's going to get a pin and everyone's going to get pinned, but Jarrett's victory will come by way of Ron Killings (the only man out of place here) or Abyss.
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated (Holds; July 5, 2005) It's good to see that the WWE isn't backing away from Batista or Cena. There's still some questions lingering over a few of the draft moves they either made or didn't make (Jericho being a prime example), but the stage is set for a solid run to Summerslam that may send the indicator down. The longer Triple H stays away is also a plus...
I know that the Naturals are the team that have the storyline, but their story line is that they've sucked lately. Yeah I know they have a coach now but since when does having a coach for 3 whole days make you suddenly good. I think if they want to book this right the Naturals still lose this match and slowly get better, rather than suddenly go on a winning streak.
I don't know who wins the rankings match, I think Senshi and Shelley both make sense. Someway Somehow Joe loses the X title to the winner of this match. If the winner of this match is Senshi, I think his first opponent is Shelley or vice versa.
I hate to say it but I'm thinking maybe Jarrett wins the title too. I do think they have to be leading up to an eventual Jarrett/Joe match. In addition to that, we saw an edgier Christian this week, I'm hoping losing the title without getting pinned is what pushes him over the edge and he turns heel. Then they can slowly build to Christian vs Sting. If they really want Bound for Glory to be their big ppv of the year then Jarrett/Joe and Sting/Christian is a good way to start. Throw in an X Division match (Shelley vs AJ?) and maybe the Dudleys finally beating AMW for the tag titles.
Looking forward to this one, and hating that I have to work.
Preshow: The Naturals def. Eric Young/A1 -New manager = win.
X-Division Ranking Match: Alex Shelley [c] def. Senshi [last eliminated], Jay Lethal, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt & Shark Boy [first eliminated] -The key is to think about who hasn't been destroyed by Samoa Joe yet. That means Dutt, Lethal & Shark Boy are out of the running. So it's between Senshi, Shelley & Williams, and basically depends on whether or not Joe continues going after Jarrett disciples. Shelley gets the nod, especially since it'd add some irony to the Nash association.
Chris Sabin def. Kevin Nash -Gut feeling. Should be decent.
Bingo Hall Brawl: Team 3D def. The James Gang -Meh.
NWA World Tag Team Championship: AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels def. America's Most Wanted to become new champions -Match should be good. AMW as champs is getting stale.
Handicap Match: Rhino def. Bobby Roode/Scott D'Amore -D'Amore takes the fall when it seems as if Roode could've won. Tension within Team Canada!
Samoa Joe def. Scott Steiner -Match of the night.
King of the Mountain for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting def. Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett, Ron Killings & Abyss to become new champion -I smell a title change coming, and a Sting swap would keep Christian & Jarrett in the picture (while potentially bringing in Steiner & Joe).