TNA Slammiversary 2016 Predictions – June 12, 2016 – Predictions from Smartasses Magazine Senior Editor- Johnny Video.
TNA Slammiversary 2016 Predictions | Pay Per View Predictions – SMAG
I recently read a post on a friend’s Facebook timeline, snidely asking, in direct reference to their lack of promoting the event, “TNA has a pay per view this Sunday? Who knew?” Well, without pointing out the obvious answer that, one wouldn’t be aware of WWE events either if you didn’t actually watch the WWE, the answer alone is self evident- no one is watching TNA, and that’s the problem. As Jerry Seinfeld once said to a trouserless man riding on the subway, stating that he wasn’t ashamed to be traveling without employing pants, “Ya should be.”
Furthermore, to say no one is watching is actually a bit of a misnomer. Fact of the matter is, TNA saw some of their highest ratings, a 1.1 share, just two short weeks ago, and the reason why has less to do with the company’s great relationship with Pop, and a lot more to do with the fact that the booking and writing staffs are finally getting things right. Very right. Look, over the last decade, I’ve always cared more about the characters in TNA than in Vince’s outfit. I prefer to liken it to the differences between DC Comics and Marvel— Marvel may be telling the better stories, but their characters will never live up to the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It’s similar in wrestling. WWE has the marketing, the production value, and up until recently, knew how to tell a story much better than TNA. But I’m going to tune in for Gail Kim much quicker than I am for Summer Rae. Conversely, despite TNA typically having better story ideas than WWE, to their discredit, they often told those grand tales very haphazardly. They were often tough to follow, jumped to the end too quickly or wrapped up before you really wanted them to. Not to mention there were kids with Lego sets who could build to a PPV better than the people running Impact. But that’s not the case any more. Sure, I have things that I wish were different. For example, I’m left wondering why the Hall of Fame induction isn’t a part of the Slammiversary festivities any more. I’m also curious as to why there has been no mention yet of Option C regarding the X Division belt. But aside of these minor wants, TNA has not only fixed 99% of all the previously aforementioned issues, they’ve also gone back to employing all of the little nuances we’ve been clamoring for– more backstage interviews, managers, treating belt matches like a prize fight, good old fashioned heel tag teams, jobbers… and properly building to a pay per view.
Which, that is exactly what makes predicting Slammiversary 2016 so difficult. In the past, even though guessing the outcome of a TNA pay per view rarely followed the same rules one uses in predicting the results of a WWE show, one could still spot the path of least resistance, and you pretty much knew that that’s where TNA was probably headed. Now that TNA is doing things the right way, it makes the whole process more challenging. Which is a great thing, seeing as how not knowing what will happen next is kind of the point in watching something. With that said, TNA may or may not stack up to what NXT is doing, but if you’re tired of all the sophomoric, spoon fed drivel you receive on Raw and Smackdown each week, and you’re not going to pick apart any talent who isn’t in the X Division or never worked for ROH, it’s time to start setting your DVR to Pop every Tuesday night. Trust me. TNA is putting on some of the best wrestling programming we’ve seen in decades.
Trevor Lee (c) vs. Andrew Everett vs. DJZ vs. Eddie Edwards
This is perhaps the most difficult of all the matches to predict. There is little doubt that this will be the first match, which lends itself to a babyface winning just to get people in a good mood for the rest of the show. But it still leaves us with lots of questions. Will they bring up Option C? Who is Andrew Everett again? How soon before Davey Richards comes back to reunite the Wolves? Why has DJZ been getting talked up lately? Will manager Gregory Shane Hurri-Helms finally ditch the neon green jacket (which just happens to match the colors of the X-Division belt) and break out into the Rizkee Biz rap we are all expecting? Well, actually several things make sense to me. Though one might surmise Helms will always be involved in the X-Division based on the color scheme of that leather coat of his, it actually makes more sense for his proteges Lee & Everett to start focusing on tag-teaming. As well, the crowd really wants to see Edwards finally get revenge on Team Helms, and if partner Davey Richards is going to be on the shelf for awhile, combined with the exercision of Option C, then having Eddie win makes complete sense. However, if Richards is going to be back soon, then hey, there’s your tag team feud right there… so why not give DJZ the strap? On that note, I do indeed see Richards making an appearance tonight, causing a fight to spill out into the arena, and leaving only one wrestler in the ring as a result.
Grado & Mahabali Shera vs. The Tribunal w/ Al Snow
Here is a perfect example of everything that’s been right with TNA lately. The good people behind Impact have taken an otherwise useless, annoying character like Grado, and made you love him- all because of the excellent heel work and head games being put on by the eminent Al Snow. All things being equal, Snow has been absolutely lights out as a bad guy, and his matches alone have been reason enough to watch the program each week. Furthermore, what better way to rebuild the tag team division, than to bring in two flag waving, uppity French beasts for you to focus your hatred upon? On one hand, this match is a bit of a tossup, just because it’s time, based on the old TNA clock, for Grado and Shera to get their revenge. But remember, TNA is doing things right these days, which means it’s far too soon to job out The Tribunal only a week or two after their debut.
Winner: The Tribunal
TNA King of the Mountain Championship
Eli Drake (c) vs. Bram
If you’re looking for more things that are right with TNA these days, look no further than Eli Drake. My god can this guy talk on the mike, bringing forth classic imagery of backstage segments with the Four Horsemen and The Rock into your skull. Seriously, dummy, yeah… he’s that good. With that said, upon first glance of this match, I originally thought, based on how soon it was for him to lose the strap, “Okay, Bram is going to win it right back at Slammiversary.” But I’ve since put a little more thought into this. The truth of the matter is, Bram only had the belt because they had to get it off of Eric Young before he left for NXT, and Bram was the easiest path to getting that done. Which at least lends a little credence as to why he lost it so quickly– he was never really supposed to have it anyway. So, look for E-Li-Drake to either get himself disqualified, or win by entirely nefarious measures and prance around with this belt annoyingly for a very long time to come. Either way, Drake leaves with the gold. That’s not an insult, that’s just a fact of life.
Winner: Eli Drake
Gail Kim vs. Maria Kanellis
Some are saying, “Man, I wish there was something on the line in this match, like Maria’s position as leader of the knockouts.” but that’s the point. This is the beginning of the story. We’ll get to that at the end. In the meantime, there’s the bigger issue now of will Maria Kanellis actually wrestle? According to her Instagram, she has a hand injury, and even though she delivered the message in character, the injury is supposedly legit. Enter the apprentice, Allie. Despite the fact that we all know she’s really Cherry Bomb, her TNA character is that of a bumbling personal assistant to Miss Kanellis who doesn’t know the difference between a wrestling ring and something you buy at Jared’s. You know, someone who wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell at beating a future Hall of Famer like Ms Kim. Alas, ever so conveniently, TNA threw in some last minute footage of our magazine’s 2014 Sexiest Woman Alive having an “injured leg” on the last episode of Impact, which will undoubtedly be all the daylight a novice like Allie will need.
Winner: Team Kanellis
TNA World Tag-Team Titles
Decay w/ Rosemary (c) vs. The BroMans w/ Raquel
Call me crazy, but I love a good alternative gal, which means Rosemary may just be the hottest zombie, Joker inspired Goth chick since the rise of evil Su Yung. Then again, despite her purple Psylocke locks, Gabi/Raquel may just be a name you’re hearing next March when the 12th annual Smartasses Magazine Top 100 Sexiest Women Alive rolls around. But I digress. Not unlike the King of the Mountain belt, the only reason Decay is in possession of the straps is because Beer Money’s Bobby Roode jumped ship for NXT. However, that’s pretty much the reason the BroMans are back together too, since Decay kind of needed someone to fight. So god only knows where they go from here. Neither team has another nemesis waiting in the wings to focus on. Both teams could use the push. So, I’m going to reach deep down and say that, with the emergence of The Tribunal and the fact that I believe Team Helms will focus on tag teaming, I suppose it makes more sense to have the straps on the babyfaces and credit Raquel the guru for making it happen.
TNA Knockouts Championship
Jade (c) vs. Sienna
Team Kanellis is going to walk away with all the victories, so TNA can test the waters and see if they can bring some Stephanie McMahon-esque heat to the show each week. Maybe Marti Belle will even come out to Sienna’s aid, and put a stamp on the complete erosion of The Dollhouse after Taryn Terrell’s departure last year.
Full Metal Mayhem
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
Honestly, I don’t know if this is the most ridiculously stupid story line of all time, or the most fun. I’m admittedly not much of a Hardy mark, but Jeff does always put on one hell of a show between the ropes, and I’m somewhat loathe to admit that Big Money Matt has actually been a really great heel. On the other hand, considering this transformation Matt has made from BMM into this… Creepy Liberace character with Dr Frankenstein hair, pajamas, and the most indefinable accent since Steve Martin & Dan Aykroyd’s Wild and Crazy Guys, I’m not sure if Matt Hardy is a genius or the most laughable wrestling character since Scott Steiner transformed into Big Poppa Pump. On the other side of this coin, not unlike making Grado worthwhile, kudos again to the TNA creative for making Jeff Hardy’s equally goofy character of Willow something to actually get behind. Admittedly, you almost felt sorry for Jeff on the first go-around with Willow. That horrible and suddenly developed British accent. The vignettes. I just wanted to reach into the TV screen and say “Bro. You are trying way too hard dude” but all the antics over the last few weeks have given a real fresh breath of Sting-ness to the whole thing. On that note, I seriously don’t know what they do from here. There really is almost no more evil Team Matt can hoist upon Jeff Hardy at this point, as the acts of violence have already exceeded what most would call heinous. On the other hand, with Jeff going over after the thirty foot swanton on Matt at their last hardcore match, combined with the gut feeling that Creepy Matt is just the beginning of chapter two in their story, it almost seems more logical that they keep this carnival going. Flip a coin.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Mike Bennett vs. EC3
Despite how amazingly great The Miracle Mike Bennett has been for TNA, and despite his wife’s team walking away with all the W’s on this card, it’s time to put a bow on this one and give EC3 his revenge. Besides, TNA wants to get Carter back in the title hunt sooner than later.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Drew Galloway (c) vs. Lashley
Look, Drew Galloway seems like a likable enough guy. But his character talks way, way, way too much. If I have to listen to him say “Quite frankly” or “I’ve always been a fighting champion” one more time, I’m going to puke. In other words, watching Drew today, is a window into the history of why everyone hated John Cena yesterday. I know it’s not supposed to work that way, but sometimes it does. So with that said, it is indeed because he seems like a pretty nice guy, that I feel guilty in saying that I truly believe I’m going to kind of enjoy watching Mr Deer in the Headlights, Bobby Lesna… err… Lashley, spearing his way to victory in this one, despite multiple Claymores from The Captain. Besides, EC3 needs a bad guy to fight.
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