By Graham "GSM" Matthews
General Manager Hulk Hogan Addressed the Audience
There were likely those who rolled their eyes at Hogan opening the event given all he (unintentionally) did to kill the company, but it made sense from a storyline standpoint since he was the general manager of the program at the time. He kept his promo short, sweet and to the point, and him putting over Austin Aries and Samoa Joe going into the subsequent title match was a nice touch.
X-Division Champion Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe
I don't know why this match wouldn't have been advertised in advance because it was absolutely incredible. Of course, they had history from their days in Ring of Honor together, so it came as no surprise that they gelled extremely well here and had a hell of a match. Aries connecting with the brainbuster on Joe was impressive and the bout was perfectly slotted in the opener as it kicked off the evening on a high note. Aries was in my opinion one of the greatest X-Division champions of all-time and really brought the belt to new heights during his reign. He would challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the following month.
Hernandez def. Kid Kash
Hernandez and Kash had been off television for a few months, so this match marked their respective returns to TNA. It suffered from a lack of storyline support because it was a rather random match, but it was fun while it lasted. Hernandez had been unsafe at times in the ring, but Kash carried him to a pretty competent contest. Aside from one weird botch, this was a decent match and there was no better place to bring back Hernandez than in Texas because they welcomed him with open arms and he received a warm reception.
Television Champion Devon and Garrett Bischoff def. Robbie E and Robbie T
I remember this being the rivalry that just wouldn't end. Devon was such an odd choice as Television Champion. You'd think they'd put the belt on someone who could do something worthwhile with the title or someone who would be elevated by it, but apparently not. Garrett was somehow thrust into this rivalry, and this match served as a reminder as to how mediocre he was. At any rate, this wasn't a terrible match, and although I didn't care about it, at least it didn't go longer than it needed to.
Mr. Anderson def. Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match For the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
None of these guys had anything going for them at this time, so they were put into a No. 1 Contender's match just to get them on the card. Despite there not being a real rivalry between these three, they worked well together and had very good chemistry. The crowd responded favorably to each of them and were happy to see Anderson win. Besides, RVD and Hardy had already challenged Bobby Roode for the TNA title, so Anderson was a fresh face in the championship picture.
James Storm def. Crimson
How Crimson went undefeated for over a year in a half is beyond me. I realize he spent most of that time in the tag team division with Matt Morgan, but he was just wasn't polished enough in the ring or on the mic to warrant that kind of push. He definitely did improve as he went along, and he elicited effective heat before the bout with his promo, but the streak was ultimately a waste. The crowd popped big for the returning Storm and you would have thought he was the hottest babyface in the world back then. I was content with the streak ending, but Crimson had a match or two after this before being released. Basically, the streak was the only thing keeping him around.
Sting Was Announced as the First Inductee Into the TNA Hall of Fame
As Dixie Carter said herself, TNA certainly helped put TNA on the map when he came into the company in 2003, but I would have given the nod to AJ Styles or Jeff Jarrett before him. Both had been there since the beginning. Jarrett has since been inducted as of 2015, though I don't think Styles ever will given his current WWE status. Either way, the video package on Sting was really well done and it came across as a major moment even though TNA had only been around for a decade.
Miss Tessmacher def. Gail Kim to Win the Knockouts Championship
While this bout didn't blow me away by any means, Tessmacher deserves all the credit in the world for getting better and working hard at honing her craft during her time in TNA. Kim was an excellent opponent for her as she helped bring the best out of her and they contested a good match. It was time to take the title off Kim after she had been champion for nearly seven months and this was the perfect place for that to happen with the event emanating from Tessmacher's native Texas.
Joseph Park def. Bully Ray in a No Disqualification Match
Joseph Park was such a blast of a character and Bully Ray was an awesome foil for him. Park was the non-wrestling version of Abyss, so needless to say, this was more of an angle than it was a wrestling match. But it was entertaining and the crowd was solidly behind Park throughout. Abyss' interference was obvious and Ray was down for too long after that table spot, but Ray was so strong on the mic that even after a loss, he could bounce back in no time, so this didn't do any damage to his credibility whatsoever.
Christian Cage Returned
A WWE-contracted performer appearing on TNA programming was unprecedented and the reason it was done was because WWE borrowed TNA's Ric Flair for that year's Hall of Fame ceremony. It didn't look like he was thrilled about being there, but he went out like a good solider and thanked the audience for coming out. I was hoping for more from his appearance because all he did was introduce the No. 1 TNA moment, but it was cool to see him at the event at all.
AJ Styles and Kurt Angle def. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian to Win the World Tag Team Championship
I loved every second of this matchup when I saw it for the first time four years ago and it is still every bit as exceptional as I remember it four years later. Styles and Angle weren't the most cohesive unit, but they were undoubtedly a dream team. Meanwhile, Daniels and Kazarian were (and are) such a terrific team and sold their offense amazingly. I wish they received more time, but they more than made the most of the time they were allotted with there never being a dull moment. Tag team wrestling at its finest.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode def. Sting
This was a step above their pay-per-view encounter from a few months earlier, but it was evident even then that Sting wasn't capable of delivering main event level matches. Roode was phenomenal at playing a heel champion, so he held my interest in this match, but thankfully the match didn't last long. The effort was there, but the finish was weak. The beer bottle shtick had been done to death and it made the referee look like a total idiot for not seeing the shards of glass on the ground when counting the pin. Sting's attack on Roode afterward was cool, though, which sent the crowd home happy.
Slammiversary 2012 was one of TNA's strongest shows all year and a fantastic way of celebrating ten years. The main event wasn't that great, but the right person went over. The rest of the card delivered in a big way highlighted by an enjoyable opener, several notable returns, a tremendous tag team title match, and two title changes. This event is well worth watching in its entirety, though it is somewhat sad looking back at how many athletes on the roster from that time period are no longer with the company.
SEE ALSO: "TNA Slammiversary 2016 Predictions"