TNA Champion Bully Ray chugs a beer with AJ Styles.
By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Convoluted opening segment featuring Hulk Hogan, Sting, Brooke Hogan and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray. Everyone was involved for a different purpose, so some aspects of the segment were confusing. This didn't do much to get me exciting for the TNA World title match between Bully Ray and Sting at Slammiversary.
Lackluster match with the returning Suicide defeating Petey Williams and Joey Ryan in a Triple Threat to earn a shot at the X-Division Championship. Despite not being around for 2011, the crowd couldn't have cared less for Suicide, which is a shame. The action itself was rather forgettable and not as fast-paced as we're accustomed to seeing from the X-Division. To make matters worse, Kenny King felt like an afterthought on commentary.
Fine match with Magnus defeating Wes Brisco. The set-up was logical and Magnus was above average on the mic here. The match was nothing to write home about, but Magnus picking up the victory was nice to see. Samoa Joe's return didn't feel all that special, but I love the idea of him reuniting with Magnus.
Good match with Mr. Anderson defeating Kurt Angle. We've seen these two face each other countless times before, but they always seem to work well together. Anderson winning was a pleasant surprise, and it was also effective in setting up the segment involving Aces and Eights and AJ Styles later in the night.
Solid segment with James Storm announcing his tag team partner for Slammiversary. Everyone played their roles well, aside from the fact that Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez served little to no purpose. I guess Gunner is a better choice than Chris Harris as Storm's partner. Personally, I've never found Gunner to be exciting, but I hope to see more of his personality shine through in his pairing with The Cowboy.
Decent match with Mickie James defeating Velvet Sky to win the TNA Knockouts Championship. These two don't have the best chemistry together, but James was able to carry Sky to an passable match. James focusing on Sky's injury was well done, as it foreshadowed her highly anticipated heel turn. Slowly building towards her turn is also brilliant booking, as it keeps her feud with Sky fresh and exciting.
Strong segment featuring AJ Styles, Aces and Eights and Kurt Angle to close the show. Styles has been incredibly intriguing since returning to TNA a few months back, and this was no exception. He continues to protray a tweener by attacking both Angle and Aces and Eights, which is probably the best move at this point. I look forward to how the story involving Styles progresses from here.
Overall, a decent show that featured a few highlights, but wasn't as entertaining as the live editions usually are. Nonetheless, nothing on the show was truly terrible, but it didn't exactly light the world on fire, either. Thankfully, the Slammiversary card is shaping up to be an excellent one, so here's hoping they deliver a strong go-home show next week.