Retro Review: TNA Slammiversary 2005 – A Raven Becomes King

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5.7HIT-AND-MISS

There's some good stuff on this show and certainly has some historical value as the first ever Slammiversary, but its muddied with constant interference and over-booking all over the card. D'Amore was everywhere. The last two matches saved the day, with a great X-Division title match and solid work from the X-Division throughout the show. Joe's debut is cool, but otherwise the rest of the undercard feels largely unimportant. 

  • X-Division 6-Pack Match6.5
  • Alex Shelley vs Shocker6.5
  • Ron Killings vs The Outlaw3
  • The Naturals vs Team Canada6
  • Bobby Roode vs Lance Hoyt6
  • Team Canada vs A.M.W.2.5
  • X-Division Title Triple Threat8
  • Samoa Joe vs Sonjay Dutt5
  • King of the Mountain NWA Title Match7.5
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)5.2

TNA Slammiversary
June 19, 2005
Orlando, FL

— Slammiversary was created in 2005 to commemorate the three-year anniversary of the very first TNA Wrestling event in June 2002. The weekly TNA Impact series was a little over one year old at this point. We’ve got AJ Styles coming in as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion defending in the second ever King of the Mountain match, and Christopher Daniels defending the X-Division Championship.

— Don West and Mike Tenay are on commentary. We’re informed that Jeff Jarrett has been pulled from tonight’s main event, after attacking Raven during the pre-show and getting into a physical altercation with a fan. Raven has replaced him in the King of the Mountain.

DELIRIOUS vs. ZACK GOWEN vs. ELIX SKIPPER vs. JERELLE CLARK vs. THE AMAZING RED vs. SHARK BOY

It’s a 6-way match but only two men are legal at a time. Skipper has the size advantage over everyone. Amazing Red lit him up with some quick dropkicks and en enzuigiri to get things started. Clark tags in and gets thrown with a headscissors and takes an enzuigiri as well. The one-legged Warrior tags in and gets dropkicked across the ring by Shark Boy.

Everybody starts brawling to the floor with Skipper doing a moonsault through several guys. Gowen is next to fly but he gets dropkicked out of the air by Delirious. Red flies instead with a beautiful corkscrew to the floor, taking out four people. They set up a Tower of Doom spot in the corner with Skipper and Shark Boy suplexing Clark and Red, with Delirious on top. Gowen out of nowhere with a springboard Shooting Star, but it’s broken up.

Clark nearly murdered Red with a Teabag Driver that dropped him on his head. Delirious just about decapitated everyone else with running knee strikes all around the ring, but Shark Boy caught him with the Deep Sea Drop! Shark Boy wins it! Shell yeah!

It’s about as good as you’d expect from an early X-Division match only given about 6 minutes to try and put 6 different guys over. To that end, they more or less succeeded. Everyone had at least one memorable moment. Amazing Red was the stand-out, and Shark Boy is pretty over with the Impact Zone fans. It’s a fun collection of moves, impressive athletics and acrobatics, but not much more. 

Rating: 6.5/10


— Abyss is seen backstage breaking glass with his bare hands. I’m not an expert, but I think something’s bothering that guy…

— Shocker is interviewed and fumbles with his words, calling himself the best lucha libre star in the whole world right now. An incredibly young Alex Shelley shows up looking like a member of N’Sync. He brags about being able to do every style in the world, and slaps Shocker before heading out to the ring.

ALEX SHELLEY vs. SHOCKER

This one kicks off with a great back-and-forth technical exchange, as Shocker takes him down to the mat with a number of holds, but Shelley is able to counter-grapple at every turn. They square up again, and again it’s a 50/50 exchange. Shelley dodges a kick and brings him back to the mat again, and this time gets a bit too cocky and offers the lucha star a free shot, mockingly kissing his boot.

Shocker with a headscissors takedown sending Shelley to the floor, and he follows with a big dropkick off the apron. It wasn’t pretty, but it was certainly effective! Shocker with a body slam before heading up for a moonsault, but Shelley gets the knees up and rolls him into a nasty submission, almost like a seated octopus stretch. He heads to the top again, but Shocker dropkicks him out of the air and followed with a suicide dive out to the floor, connecting skull-to-skull.

The two go back to wrestling hold-for-hold rolling each other into about a hundred different pinning combinations. They had counters for everything. In the end Shocker got the better of the exchange reversing a Magistral cradle into a small package to win.

A pretty good technical match, albeit it one that might have gone on a bit too long for what they had planned out. With the opener getting shafted on time, both probably could have benefited from switching this up. I’m a sucker for counter grappling, so I enjoyed it despite its flaws. Instead of picking up pace in the third act they slowed it back down, the final sequence of counters may have gone on a bit too long, and the finish just kind of happened with little to no fanfare. To be fair, the entire match happened with little to no fanfare. The rather unenthused crowd didn’t help things much. 

Rating: 6.5/10


— 3Live Kru is hanging out backstage with Konnan questioning the loyalties of B.G. James heading into tonight’s match with his old tag team partner, The Outlaw. James rants for way too long about being 3Live Kru for life, or whatever, trying really hard not to be a middle-aged white dude from Marietta, Georgia. I always forget how absurd this faction was.

RON KILLINGS vs. THE OUTLAW

We get this personal beef off to a raging start with a…simple wrist lock from The Outlaw, followed by an even more explosive side headlock. Killings eventually gets in a few shots and came off the top rope with a missile dropkick. Things spilled to the floor and The Outlaw – screw it – Billy Gunn throws his opponent into the barricade several times.

The rest of the match is a slow, unfortunately sloppy grind with Gunn controlling the action with somewhat generic offense. Shoulder tackles, headlocks, big boots, etc. In the last few seconds the two traded finisher attempts, with Gunn dodging a Scissors Kick and hitting the Fameasser, but Killings rolled him up for the win.

Meh. I wanted this to be good, because it’s Billy Gunn and R-Truth, but it’s far too slow and Gunn looked like he was sleep-walking through spots. 

Rating: 3/10

— Road Dogg rushes the ring with a steel chair, but he can’t hit Gunn with it. Konnan rushes the ring and goes after Gunn, who escapes, then gets into Dogg’s face screaming at him for not doing the right thing. So not only was the match bad, but they didn’t even resolve the angle built up for the PPV.


— Scott D’Amore cuts a long, insane promo about how great Canada is, comparing himself to the great military generals like Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. I wonder who’s done more cocaine at this show, him or Don West.

THE NATURALS (ANDY DOUGLAS & CHASE STEVENS) (c) vs. TEAM CANADA (ERIC YOUNG & PETEY WILLIAMS) FOR THE NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

D’Amore leads Team Canada to ringside and stops to scream at the commentary team for some reason. A good back and forth between Stevens and Young to get started, before Douglas tags in and puts Williams in a modified Cloverleaf. Petey looks so different with long hair…

A distraction from D’Amore lead to Team Canada double-teaming Chase Stevens on the floor, before taking him back into the ring and beating the hell out of him with quick, alternating tags. This went on forever. An absolute mugging from the Canadians on this poor kid for well over five minutes. Not even a semblance of offense from the Naturals.

After an eternity Douglas goes outside and attacks the other members of Team Canada, and finally gets the hot tag from his partner. He drops Williams with a Full Nelson backbreaker, and in comes Stevens – who is still alive somehow – looking for a Tornado DDT, but Petey counters into a crazy DDT.

All hell breaks loose and the Naturals hit Williams with the Natural Disaster, but he apparently kicked out at two-and-three-quarters. The camera completely blew the shot. They hit Young with the Natural Disaster as well, but D’Amore uses a hockey stick to blast one of them. In all of the chaos a random microphone gets rolled into the ring. Stevens blasts Young with the microphone and makes the cover to retain the titles. We’re told it’s the legendary Jimmy Hart who is received as the secret enforcer for the champions, but again the camera totally blew it.

Not bad. The action was completely one-sided for an absurd amount of time, like to the point where nobody would book a match that way without trying to completely bury… the champions? The retaining champions? I don’t know. Several sprints at the beginning and end were really good, but the pacing was problematic and the cameras blew two back-to-back important spots during the finish.

Rating: 6/10


— Sean Waltman is interviewed backstage and looks stoned as hell. He’s asked how he got himself in the main event, and claims to be a great backstage politician.

— Mike Tenay goes crazy for the upcoming debut of Samoa Joe, who has been “dominating Ring of Honor” and will be wrestling his first match in a TNA ring up next…

SAMOA JOE vs. SONJAY DUTT

Joe with an enormous STO exploding out of the corner, dropping Dutt hard on the back of his neck to kick this one off. He follows up with a few running kicks to the back of the head, before connecting with a knee strike, and a running boot in the corner that nearly knocked Dutt out cold. It’s all Joe, as he throws all his weight down with a running senton on his opponent’s back.

Dutt gets a bit of momentum rolling with an enzuigiri in the corner, before flying off the top with a 450 splash. He tries for it again but lands on his feet, running the ropes right into a snap powerslam from Joe. The Samoan puts him on the top rope, connects with a jumping enzuigiri, and it’s Muscle Buster City, baby! Joe locks in a rear naked choke, and this one is over.

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Don’t let the rating fool you – this is a great “segment” and an impressive TNA debut for Samoa Joe, who obviously go on to become one of the promotion’s biggest stars ever. I almost didn’t give this a rating, but Dutt got in just enough action for it to be considered an actual, competitive wrestling match. 

Rating: 5/10


— Raven is hanging out in a staircase. He says he’d rather hug a suicide bomber than be his opponents tonight. Something about craters of destructive glory, and a future paved with bloody kisses of pain, etc. He’s got a charity of vengeance, and he’s grinding the bones of his opponents down to a powder, leaving their families with nothing. He calls himself a human cancer, and the only way to stop him is to kill the host. Raven needs therapy.

BOBBY ROODE vs. LANCE HOYT

Holy crap, it’s Lance Archer.

The big man tosses Roode across the ring twice, before clotheslining him over the top rope. He went out after him, but Scott D’Amore clipped his knees from behind and kicked him in the face. Come on, do your job, ref!

The Team Canada distractions are enough for Roode to stay in control for a few minutes, keeping his opponent on the mat. Hoyt rallies back with big right hands, but Roode nails him with a series of knee strikes right to the gut, before connecting with a big back suplex. Again he slows things down with a few more suplexes, but Hoyt is ready for it this time and again rallies with wild rights and lefts.

He hits a giant chokeslam before heading to the top rope, but of course D’Amore is there to distract him. Roode catches him with a nasty running jacknife powerbomb, and is pissed off when that’s not enough. D’Amore gives him a hockey stick, but the referee takes it away and Hoyt levels him with a lariat. He looks to put the match away, but of course D’Amore is back again grabbing a hold of his ankle. Huge neckbreaker from Roode, and makes the cover to win.

After the match D’Amore trashed Hoyt on the mic while Roode continued to beat him down. To add insult to injury the chubby, hairy man removed his shirt and got in a few shots of his own. Hoyt fought back and sent Roode flying out of the ring, then dropped D’Amore to maybe the biggest pop of the night. He went to the top rope and connected with a giant moonsault, then escaped the ring before the rest of Team Canada could get there.

They had a good match, but at this point the constant and blatant Scott D’Amore interference is starting to ruin the show. As I’m typing this, he’s being stretchered out by at least a dozen members of security, taking up even more time. 

Rating: 6/10


— 3Live Kru is back. Konnan hypes up the crowd, and Road Dogg does his usual shtick that everyone chants along with him.

KONAN & B.G. JAMES vs. JAMES STORM & CHRIS HARRIS

Konnan is absolutely jacked. He manages to beat up both opponents and attacks them with one of his shoes. Harris hit a rolling elbow and tagged in Storm, who took over momentarily with a series of big suplexes and power offense. Road Dogg tags in but suffers a similar fate as the Wildcats beat on him with consistent tags and quick, straightforward offense.

Let’s leap forward a few minutes, as the beating from Team Canada continues. The Outlaw runs out mid-match and Konnan goes after him. The two fight up the ramp leaving B.G. alone in the ring to deal with both of America’s Most Wanted. This one’s over.

This felt like more of a TV segment than the big finale of a hot angle on live pay-per-view. A nothing match with another ambiguous ending further teasing and stretching this out unnecessarily. If this was one of the reasons you ordered the PPV, to see this angle finally play out, I feel bad for you. 

Rating: 2.5/10

— After the match things break down further between Konnan and B.G. James as Billy Gunn taunts them both from the entrance ramp. James throws his hands up in the air and walks out on the other side of the building, as all three guys stare each other down.


CHRIS SABIN vs. MICHAEL SHANE vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS (c) FOR THE X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP

It’s all Daniels from the start as he lands a series of dropkicks to both guys, hits a Flatliner on Sabin and rolls him into the Last Chancery. Shane makes the save and levels both with lariats, and dodges Sabin flying off the top rope, taking out the champion instead. The action heads to the floor and Daniels hits a split-legged moonsault off the ropes to the outside, taking out Sabin, but Shane rolled him back into the ring and nearly stole the title with a quick small package.

Shane continues to impress with a snap powerslam on Sabin, followed by a springboard leg drop. Daniels pulled him to the floor and threw him into the ring post, and Sabin came flying over the ropes crashing through him. In an incredible spot Sabin did a tilt-a-whirl DDT on one of them, bouncing off the other’s chest.

Traci and Trinity randomly started fighting with each other. Sabin hits a Michinoku Driver and pins Shane to eliminate him from the match, because Daniels was too busy murdering Trinity with the Angel’s Wings to break it up.

It’s down to two, and Daniels nearly kills Sabin with a Burning Hammer, but kicks out at two-and-a-half. Sabin bounced back with a headcissors into a small package for two, and hit a springboard bulldog for another two. Northern Lights suplex bridge…two. Nothing he did could put away the champion.

Daniels catches his opponent coming off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He motions for the Best Moonsault Ever, hits to the top and connects – the move lives up to its name – but somehow Sabin still gets his shoulder up before three. The challenger digs down deep with a springboard Flatliner out of nowhere. Daniels kicks the ropes out from under him, hits the Angel’s Wings, and scores the win to retain the X-Division title. Really good match.

This was easily the best match of the night. The triple threat was a great time with a lot of innovative, fast-paced offense, but the second half singles match between Daniels and Sabin was even better. I could have done without the cheap interference, which is something I’ve said a lot throughout the show. 

Rating: 8/10


— If you’ve never seen a King of the Mountain match, hold on to your horses, kids. So there’s a small red cage. Wrestlers are “ineligible” to win until they get a pinfall or submission on another competitor. Then they must retrieve the title from an official, climb a ladder and hang it up to win. If you get pinned or submit, you must spend a pre-determined amount of time locked in the penalty box…

AJ STYLES vs. ABYSS vs. RAVEN vs. MONTY BROWN vs. SEAN WALTMAN IN A ‘KING OF THE MOUNTAIN’ MATCH FOR THE VACANT NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

It’s all-out chaos! Raven must spend the first three minutes in the penalty box. Brown goes on a rampage blowing through everybody with lariats and shoulder tackles. He sent Waltman flying with a running knee to the back. Brown goes blow for blow with Abyss as Raven hit the ring and ran right into a chokeslam from the Monster. In all the madness Waltman was pinned, and goes to the penalty box.

Styles reemerges after doing a great job of hiding the entire match. He springboards into the ring and sticks Abyss and Brown with a series of corner splashes, but the later sends him flying into space with a big Pounce. Raven covered him in the floor and the ref counted to three. Styles goes to the penalty box.

Raven blasts the two big guys with a trash can to the skull, and managed to knock down Monty Brown with lariats. Waltman is back and he’s got a trash can as well, but he runs right into a big boot from the Monster. The can now has an X-Pac shaped dent in it. Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam on Brown and covers him for three, sending him to the box as well.

Raven eats the Styles Clash, but for some reason Abyss breaks up the pin. Styles and Waltman put the Monster on a table and the Phenomenal One went to the top rope, hitting the Spiral Tap through the table on the outside! Wow!

Styles is the first to grab the NWA title belt and Waltman acts like he’s going to help him win the title but turns on him, hitting the X-Factor from the top of a ladder. Everyone is now eligible. Raven’s got a staple gun and plants a few in Waltman’s head, but Waltman kicks him in the nuts and stapled his unmentionables. Abyss hit the ring, but got stapled in the ding-dong as well.

It once again comes down to Waltman and Styles on top of a ladder, trading rights and lefts. Abyss pushes the ladder over and sends them both crashing to the floor, Styles exploding through a table. Abyss started to climb but Monty Brown came out of nowhere to spear him through a table. Raven hits the Even Flow DDT on Brown and throws him to the floor, begins his climb… and secures the NWA World Heavyweight Championship! We have a new champion!

 

Rating: 7.5/10

— A bloody Raven poses on top of the ladder with the Ten Pounds of Gold raised high in the air. Waltman screams obscenities as he limps up the entrance ramp, staring down the new champion. Raven is barely alive and celebrates with the fans in the front row, bleeding all over everybody to end the show.


FINAL THOUGHTS

There’s some good stuff on this show and certainly has some historical value as the first ever Slammiversary, but its muddied with constant interference and over-booking all over the card. D’Amore was everywhere. The last two matches saved the day, with a great X-Division title match and solid work from the X-Division throughout the show. Joe’s debut is cool, but otherwise the rest of the undercard feels largely unimportant.

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