By Graham "GSM" Matthews
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway Interrupted Matt Hardy
If you haven't seen or at the very least heard of Matt's segment with Jeff from last week through the grapevine, you must be living under a rock. It was actually the most attention TNA has received in some time, for better or for worse. I enjoyed the "iconic" Matt Hardy more than this current incarnation, but he does well with it and I commend him for being completely devoted to the character. Galloway was a fine foil for his out-of-this-world antics and I'm glad both of them alluded to their history. Galloway putting his title on the title days before Slammiversary made him look more like a fighting champion than a fool for agreeing to defend against him. He would have been a fool to add him to the title match on Sunday, decreasing his odds of walking out with the gold.
Sienna def. Madison Rayne in a No. 1 Contender's Match For the Knockouts Championship
Sienna hasn't been in TNA for more than a month or two and she already feel like just another Knockout. He was booked like a big deal in the beginning, but her recent losses to Gail Kim abruptly halted her momentum. Sure, she had a somewhat dominant performance versus Rayne here, but how many people truly see her as a threat to the Knockouts title at Slammiversary? Nevertheless, they should contest a good match and it's refreshing that two women's matches will be held at the event.
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake Hosted 'Fact of Life' with World Tag Team Champions Decay
As I've said countless times in the past, Drake has all the tools to be a talented talker, but he still seems to be a work in progress. Perhaps he could slow down his lines a bit? Also, the stupid "dummy" button has to go. Decay didn't say anything that made me more excited about their title defense at Slammiversary than I was before, but that largely has to do with how little I care about The BroMans. The feud progression with Grado, Mahabli Shera and The Tribunal was thankfully kept to a minimum and Drake and Bram were able to keep things moving along with their rivalry as well.
King of the Mountain Champion Eli Drake, World Tag Team Champions Decay and The Tribunal def. Bram, Grado, Mahabli Shera and The BroMans
Given I'm not at all invested in any of these feuds at the moment, I would have left it at the previous segment. This just felt like overkill. It was just an absolute mess, and while I credit them for at least trying and putting forth a decent effort, nothing about this match added to my excitement for Sunday. And Al Snow relentlessly blowing the whistle at ringside was just the absolute worst. It didn't generate the right type of heat, either; rather, I was tempted to change the channel.
Ethan Carter III and Gail Kim def. Mike Bennett and Allie
I would call the bait-and-switch with Allie replacing Maria disappointing, but I actually thought it was smart booking. It was exactly what the Maria character would do to avoid getting physical with Kim before their Slammiversary match, and EC3 and Bennett also barely came in contact. Furthermore, I liked the injury ankle afterward, as it will put at a distinct disadvantage in her match with Maria. Two gripes I had with this, though, were that it's still too early to be putting Allie in the ring (she hasn't been around long enough for fans to want to see her get her comeuppance yet), and where the hell was Jade?
X-Division Champion Trevor Lee def. Eddie Edwards
Edwards has been fun in chase mode for the X-Division Championship, but I wish he would be given more mic time to establish his motivation for wanting to become champion, along with Lee. He's been champion for three months and we know as little about him now as we did when he initially won the title. They produced an entertaining match, and Lee doing anything and everything he needed to do in order to retain the title gave him great heat, but both of these guys are in serious need of real character development.
Braxton Sutter def. Kalus
I loved how the vignettes hyping Sutter's debut portrayed him as a veteran of the business who had never made it big until now and how he's living out his dream. That said, his in-ring name is awful. It sounds like WWE's Byron Saxton arrived in the Impact Zone. Nevertheless, other than a few mistimed and awkward spots, he had an impressive outing here in his debut match and I fully expect him to be involved in Slammiversary in some capacity, as he alluded to in his post-match promo.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway def. Matt Hardy by Disqualification
These two have had plenty of matches together this year, so they have experience working against each other and produced another enjoyable matchup here. I never thought for a second that the title was in jeopardy, but it was a serviceable main event, regardless. Lashley's interference made sense since he felt screwed over by Hardy getting a championship opportunity ahead of him, and the final hype for the Full Metal Mayhem match was well done. I was worried for a second we would be getting Willow at Slammiversary, so I couldn't be happier that doesn't appear to be the case.
TNA has done an excellent job of building up the Slammiversary card over the past month or so, especially the marquee matches. As a result, I am anticipating the event more than I have any other TNA pay-per-view in several years. This was a solid go-home show with two title matches, good wrestling and enough hype for every advertised match on Sunday. Here's hoping the show delivers and prove to those who have since stopped watching the product that it has been improving immensely as of late.