Thunder And Lightning: TNA Slammiversary XI Preview
Welcome to our TNA Slammiversary XI preview! It’s just Lightning and myself covering the action for TNA’s annual June event, so let’s get down to business!
GUTCHECK TOURNAMENT FINAL
Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw
ML: There is really only so much I can say about this matchup of Gut Check winners. Neither Shaw nor Bradley have been overly impressive to me. I don’t really keep up with OVW but I’m assuming that TNA is trying their hardest to build “homegrown” talent. I’m doubting that either one of these two will be the “future” of TNA. Hopefully this match delivers better than I’m expecting.
Prediction: Jay Bradley
JT: Bradley was originally one of the masked members of Aces and Eights, and with Taz being so high on him during commentary, I’m assuming he’ll rejoin the group. I’ve enjoyed Bradley’s work in the ring thus far, and I’m expecting him to get the big win in this match with Sam Shaw.
Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
ML: When it comes to women’s wrestling, it’s hard to find anyone better than Gail Kim. For years, Kim has performed on a very high level and proven time and time again that she is one of the best ever. The WWE misused her, sadly, and she found her niche in TNA. But all great things start to run their course; Gail Kim is over 40 and even though she still produces high caliber matches, she is on the back-half of her career. Taryn Terrell is someone who hasn’t had enough body of work, in my opinion, to make an accurate assessment about. TNA seems to be pretty high on her though.
Prediction: Taryn Terrell – Gail Kim snaps after the match and does that figure four leglock on the ringpost.
JT: If Taryn Terrell wins this much, they’ll make it look more like a stroke of luck than a decisive victory. I look for Gail Kim to set the pace and dominate the majority of the contest. Taryn wins in “upset” fashion.
ULTIMATE X: X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Suicide vs. King (c) vs. Sabin
ML: I have too many things to say about the X-Division but I’ll leave it to this: the X-Division needs to be featured more on television; Hogan has effectively destroyed this division and that’s unfortunate. This division is TNA’s bread and butter, but has suffered since the return of the four-sided ring in 2010. The six-sided ring better suited the X-Division. King hasn’t been featured enough during his title reign and Sabin is receiving a “welcome back” push. The same goes for Suicide, who is being portrayed by TJ Perkins, which is one of the best things I’ve ever heard.
Prediction: Suicide to become the New X-Division Champion
JT: I hate what TNA has done to the X-Division. Where are all the matches from the various performers? One triple threat match every week just isn’t cutting it. Kenny King is a great choice for champion, but nothing has really stuck out in his reign. I want to predict Chris Sabin to win the gold, but I’m expecting him to need a few tries at it first. Kenny King retains.
Joseph Park vs. Devon ©
ML: I enjoy the Joseph Park character to a degree, a very small degree, but I do enjoy him. My problem with this match is that Park is not a viable threat to any championship. Park sees blood and turns into Abyss. I hope that eventually this turns out that Park finally realizes he IS Abyss. Otherwise, I’m not 100% sure where this is going. Devon is the TV Champion? I almost forgot.
Prediction: Devon to retain the Television Champion – Park flips at the sight of blood and nails Devon with the Blackhole Slam after the match.
JT: Abyss should be the booked character for this one. I’m hoping Park comes out and says he’s found his “brother” to wrestle for him. Regardless, Devon will continue carrying the gold after this one is over, and I’m expecting him to have help from his biker gang posse.
FOUR TEAM ELIMINATION TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP:
Chavo & Hernandez (c) vs. Bad Influence vs. Aries & Roode vs. Storm & Gunner
ML: Well, Storm found one of the most boring wrestlers in TNA as his partner. With that said, that was BEFORE this long hiatus. I’m optimistic that with the lay-off and the face turn that he could become something worth watching. Chavo and Hernandez have been the Champs a couple times now and well, it’s been rather lackluster. Daniels and Kazarian have been hovering around the tag team title scene for quite some time and I personally enjoy everything they do together. I expect Roode and Aries to split here sometime soon and get back into the TNA World Title picture.
Prediction: James Storm & Gunner become the New TNA Tag Team Champions
JT: Like most multiple team tag matches, I see this one being a major spotfest and highly entertaining. I don’t see any reason for Gunner to hold the gold with Storm, but more likely I would expect Gunner to turn on Storm and help Bad Influence win the championships. New tag champs in Daniels and Kaz!
AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle
ML: Here’s your match of the night. I’m the most excited for this match because of how genius both these guys are. This AJ Styles storyline is an exact carbon copy of the Sting storyline in WCW when he was neither nWo or WCW. Angle is on the back half of his career, as is Styles, but both guys put on outstanding performances and matches. I’m confident that this match will without a doubt deliver and be match of the night.
Prediction: AJ Styles
JT: Like Lightning said, match of the night! Why does TNA always put these two together and have them outshine the main events of pay per views? Why not just put the world title on one of them(they both deserve it!) and book quality wrestling in the main event of every pay per view? Styles is in this boring limbo phase that copies storylines from 1997 WCW far too much, but even with that you know he’s going to deliver good wrestling matches every time. I’m predicting Styles to beat Angle in a decent length match.
World Heavyweight Championship No Holds Barred Match: Sting vs Bully Ray(c)
ML: So, if Sting loses this match, he can never compete for the TNA Championship ever again. Explain to me why this stipulation wasn’t added several years ago? Sting is beyond his prime and has no business competing for this World Title. Bully Ray being a heel Champion has actually been enjoyable minus the Aces & Eight storyline being stale.
Prediction: Bully Ray to retain the TNA World Championship – I expect some sort of twist that will reveal another person involved with Aces & Eights, maybe the person “behind” the group. I actually expect Brooke Hogan to turn and join the group next to Bully Ray.
JT: This main event doesn’t hold a ton of excitement for me, especially when a controversial ending is almost all but guaranteed. Before we get whatever storyline development that TNA has planned, I’m hoping we get a solid wrestling match that excites me more than I expect. The only way Sting leaves Slammiversary as TNA World Champion is if he is revealed as a member of Aces and Eights. Otherwise, look for Brooke Hogan or whoever else to align with the biker gang group and cost Sting the match.
Final Thoughts: I’ll most likely be watching this show from a hospital bed less than two miles from the Agganis Arena at Boston University. This is quite depressing for me personally, as I would’ve liked to be there live. But, beating cancer is first on my agenda! I don’t think the show will be anything spectacular, but it should easily top what we saw at Lockdown and the Angle/Styles match makes the show worth watching. I want to thank Mike Lightning for keeping up with TNA and joining me for the third set of TNA predictions in 2013. Thanks for reading!
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