THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s the first strange occurrence of August, another DVD review of a pay-per-view I’ve already reviewed, and this time we’re taking a look at the upcoming release of TNA’s Slammiversary 2010.
The show began with Kurt Angle’s first attempt to move up TNA’s new rankings list as he went up against Frankie Kazarian.
This wasn’t the usual kind of opener you’d associate with TNA, this was more. The story of Angle’s attempted ascent up the rankings made this match what it was.
Kazarian was the perfect foil for Angle as they put on an awesome contest that just didn’t have the feel of an opening match.
In the end Angle came out on top, finally getting the submission win with the trusty old ankle lock, and even though Kazarian lost he did a hell of a lot of good for his career here.
The first title match of the show saw Brian Kendrick challenging Doug Williams for the X Division title.
By now you should know how highly I rate Williams, probably the best wrestler Britain has produced over the past decade. This match was a good example of a technical master at work.
In short, it’s a great encounter, with Williams looking to impose his mat-based style on a division full of high flyers, with Kendrick epitomising this particular style.
Williams went against his own philosophy a little to get the win, pushing Kendrick off the top rope and then following him down with a tornado DDT.
It was the Knockouts title match next as champion Madison Rayne faced Roxxi in a title versus career match.
Lots of jaw-jacking at the beginning of this one as the stipulations were finally settled upon, before Madison busted Roxxi open with a microphone shot.
It was a relatively short match, with Roxxi putting on a great display while wearing the claret mask, and Madison showing how much she’s improved since she first won the title.
Madison came out on top, ending Roxxi’s TNA career, pinning her after taking her down with the finishing move that has no name.
The battle between teacher and student followed as Jesse Neal took on Brother Ray.
Another match with a ton of talking at the beginning, and after Brother Ray apologised for his previous actions it looked like there wasn’t going to be a match until Ray clobbered Neal as they walked up the ramp.
Brother Ray basically took Neal to the wood shed, chopping the hell out of him as he dished out a load of punishment.
Neal had a few good moments, but Brother Ray remained in control throughout until Tommy Dreamer appeared in the crowd and distracted him. He then missed a senton off the ropes as Neal capitalised on the mistake by taking him down for the win with a spear.
An okay match, but once again it felt strange seeing Brother Ray in a singles match.
Then it was on to the battle of the big men as Matt Morgan went up against Hernandez.
This was the third match in a row that had a ton of pre-match talking. Morgan came to the ring in street clothes and wearing a neck brace, claming that big Super Mex had injured him on the previous Impact show. But not even a note from his doctor could save him from Hernandez.
The match was okay, and the action can’t be faulted, but it just didn’t have the feel of a big grudge match. Hernandez ended up getting disqualified when he pushed the referee, and the poor official ending up taking a second hit when Hernandez tried to attack Morgan outside the ring.
The Monster’s Ball match pitting Desmond Wolfe against Abyss followed.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again – what the hell was Wolfe doing in a match like this? Why would TNA want to put one of the world’s best technical wrestlers against a big brawler like Abyss?
This was basically what we’ve seen in countless other Monster’s Ball matches over the years, a match full of dustbins, kendo sticks, and barbed-wire boards, but with the addition of a hardcore teddy bear this time.
Both men took big bumps, Wolfe through stage, and Abyss onto one of the boards and face-first onto a pile of glass, before Wolfe’s woman Chelsea double-crossed him and gave the brass knuckles to Abyss. A right hand and a black hole slam later and the big guy picked up the win.
It was then on the man now devoid of a personality as Jay Lethal faced Nature Boy-lite A.J. Styles.
This was a really enjoyable match, probably the best of Lethal’s TNA career. These two were well suited to each other, mixing a little of the old X Division style with some good old fashioned storytelling. Sadly, we also had Ric Flair strutting around the ring like a demented Jimmy Saville.
The ending did seem a bit strange though. His legs weakened because of a figure four, Styles tried to climb the ropes. His first attempt saw him slip and hit his head on the top turnbuckle. His second attempt saw him getting caught and pinned by Lethal’s northern lights suplex. Good match, but a weird ending.
The only tag-team match of the show saw Beer Money going up against Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson, otherwise known as the Enigmatic Extreme Assholes or some rubbish like that.
I really enjoyed this match when I first saw it, especially the performances of James Storm and Robert Roode, but something seemed different this time around.
Now while the action and the performances were okay, it just seemed a little overlong, and there were moments in the middle where the action just seemed to plod along. It didn’t seem to go anywhere.
The end came when Roode fell victim to Anderson’s mic check finisher. Not bad, but it could have been better.
The main event saw Sting challenging Rob Van Dam for the TNA World title.
This match was disappointing, especially considering the pedigree of those involved. It only lasted about ten minutes, and began with a brawl in the crowd before eventually moving to the ring, where we got a referee bump, interference from Jeff Jarrett, and RVD getting the pin with the frog splash after the Stinger missed the splash in the corner.
This really could have been so much better, but in the end it just failed miserably.
Bonus features come in the form of a photo gallery and the usual post-match interviews.
In conclusion – was with many of TNA’s shows this year’s Slammiversary is a hit and miss affair. While it certainly has it’s good points, it’s let down terribly by it’s bad points, most notably the main event, a big-time pay-per-view match that was just screaming out for the attention it just didn’t get.
So while this DVD release has it’s good moments, be prepared to put up with the bad ones as well.
With thanks to the powers-that-be at TNA for supplying a copy of this release. TNA Slammiversary 2010 is set for release on August 24th.