Have you been following TNA Wrestling? Neither have I, but because they’re going through the trouble of having their flagship pay per view event tonight, I decided to look at the Slammiversary card to see how it looks. The world of professional wrestling is a better place when there are multiple companies vying for supremacy, so I want their event to be worth watching, especially with so many fond memories of their product in years past.

Right off the top, I will give the disclaimer that, although I haven’t been FOLLOWING TNA Impact each week, I do DVR it, and occasionally I watch it for a few minutes until another obligation shows up that’s more pressing, and I rarely ever come back to the shows. So while I’m familiar with some of the competitors, I don’t know many of the current storylines and I don’t know the last time I watched a full episode.

Before I get into the matches, I will say that the Impact Wrestling website isn’t doing them any favors. It was encouraging to see that they created graphics for each of the matches, and while I won’t comment on the slightly underwhelming design of these squares (which you’ll see below as I talk about each of the matches), the more troubling parts:

1 – Each graphic is a link… to itself. Impact Wrestling didn’t think enough of their matches to setup a separate page for each match to explain why it was going on. It literally could’ve taken an intern a half day to create these pages and a couple hours for someone more senior to approve them or provide edits. One day’s worth of effort could’ve made it significantly more likely that I would buy this pay per view simply because they’d give me reasoning for why these matches are occurring.

2 – The graphics are “social squares”, and yet, they don’t encourage one of the most basic elementsĀ of social media, the hashtag. All they would’ve had to do would be to decide on a simple hashtag for each match, which I’ll do below as I discuss each match, and suddenly the people who ARE watching Slammiversary can help garner additional interest on Twitter or Facebook or wherever else people care about hashtags.

Okay, so now that the initial eye-rolling complaints are done, I’ll get to the card, starting from the top with the matches that people should care most about.

DrewVsLashley_Slammiversary_SocialSquare

World Title Match – Lashley vs Galloway

I respect the fact that they’re using Drew Galloway better than WWE did, but I don’t know that he’s the guy who should be the TNA World Champion. I’ve seen a couple segments where he had the belt, and I wasn’t overly impressed. I’m not saying he can’t be “that guy” someday, but he seems a bit out of place to me. And while Bobby Lashley is always impressive from a physical standpoint and I do like his more heelish persona, some of the mic work I saw from him leading up to Slammiversary wasn’t what I’d look for in a number one contender either. I do like the Knockout or Tap Out stipulation, though. I wouldn’t buy the pay per view specifically for #LASHLEYvGALLOWAY, but it didn’t raise my interest level at all.

HardyVsHardy_Slammiversary_SocialSquare

Hardy Boys Full Metal Mayhem

I realize that my disinterest in Matt Hardy is a personal bias, but I haven’t been very interested in anything he has done aside from when he showed up to get revenge on Edge for getting cheated on by Lita, and seeing him apply MMA chokeholds in a wrestling ring. Seeing him face Jeff Hardy is something I’ve seen before, and the match signing video they produced was… interesting to say the least.

I’m sure the match has the possibility to be entertaining, and others might be excited for it, but #HardyzMayhem doesn’t do anything for me.

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“Miracle” Mike Bennett vs EC3, Ethan Carter III

Now we’re talking. This is actually one of the angles I’ve seen multiple parts of, and I’m actually really interested to see where they go from here. Bennett and EC3 are arguably the brightest parts of Impact’s future, and they should be squaring off on the biggest pay per view of the year. I’d be more interested if EC3 was the World Champion at this point, or held any belt for that matter, but that’s only a minor complaint. If I order the pay per view, my top reason would be to see #BENNETTvEC3 (no mention of Miracle, though, let’s make his name easier to remember before we push nicknames).

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Battle For The Knockouts Division

The lovely Maria Kanellis is not only the wife and valet of “Miracle” Mike Bennett, but she’s also somehow in control of the TNA Knockouts Division. The legendary Gail Kim isn’t happy about it, so they’re going to fight. This is the kind of simple logic that wrestling needs to do more frequently, because it works. Unfortunately, the match might not happen. Despite the fact that the graphic was created and is still on the website, the Impact Wrestling website ALSO features images of x-rays showing that Maria’s hand is broken. Or is it a finger? And the x-ray shows that it was taken on April 27th. So what is it? Is the match happening or not? This sort of bait-and-switch should’ve been done on an episode of Impact, and the website should reflect the change, and they should do something else to make us interested in seeing whatever match Gail Kim is involved with, Maria’s involvement not withstanding. And if they’re having Maria just play the cowardly heel and she actually WILL compete, they should’ve done this weeks ago, leading up to Maria fessing up that she’s fine to compete. The logic involved with #MARIAvGAIL went from strong to dubious.

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King Of The Mountain Title

Despite having watched the first half of many episodes of Impact over the past two months, I know next to nothing about either of these guys. What I’ve seen of Bram has impressed me in the past, and Eli Drake even moreso. This absolutely could’ve been an opportunity where my interest level in Slammiversary could’ve gone up if they’d simply have a hype video or a write-up to explain why we’re getting this pairing in the #KingOfTheMountain title match.

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Grado & Shera vs The Tribunal

I know nothing about The Tribunal except the fact that their names, Basile Baraka and Baron Drax, make them sound like Mortal Kombat characters, and they’re somehow affiliated with Al Snow. Two of the three of them look badass, the third with potential, and they have matching ring attire. As a fan of tag teams, I’m on board so far, especially because the duo has a team name. I watched as Grado got fired, and although I haven’t seen anything from him that impressed or entertained me, I’ve heard other people like him. As for Shera, I know absolutely nothing. This is another area where I could be really interested to see a hype video or at least read more about #TheTRIBUNAL and #GRADOSHERA. Are either of these teams going to lead a division which was once the best in the business?

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Knockouts Title Match

To my knowledge, I haven’t ever seen Jade or Sienna wrestle, but they’ve both got unique, badass looks to them, and because neither of them is a WWE Diva castoff, my interest level goes up. Given that the TNA Knockouts Division was once the best in the industry, I’d like to see what talent they’ve found this time around. With hot, badass fighters, the #KnockoutsTitle match has my interest.

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X-Division Title Match

Eddie Edwards in an X-Division Title Match is a very good thing. DJ Z looks crazy in the picture above, but it’s probably a big improvement over what he was doing when I last remember seeing him. I would have no idea who Andrew Everett is without the process of elimination and Wikipedia telling me the competitors names, and Trevor Lee having the X-Division title AND having Gregory Shane Helms as his manager instantly has my interest piqued. Book an #XDivisionTitleMatch and I’m watching it, especially with four competitors. It begs the question of where Davey Richards is, though.

Those Not Pictured

DecayRotator-1280_olOut of everything I’ve seen the past few months, the thing that got me most interested in what Impact Wrestling is doing are the trio known as The Decay. Long time TNA veteran Abyss has joined forces with a guy named Crazy Steve and a Knockout named Rosemary. They’re the current tag team champions, and Wikipedia has them listed as facing The BroMans (who were actually somewhat interesting the last time I saw them), and yet ImpactWrestling.com doesn’t have anything about the match. At all. For a team which is arguably the most interesting thing they’re doing and has the potential to bring in an entirely different fanbase than what EC3 and Maria Kanellis brings in. Yet, there’s no graphic for them with all the other ones, and when I finally dug deep into the site to find reference to the match, almost everything is about The BroMans. I hope this #TagTitleMatch doesn’t just get pushed aside.

In looking for other names, I noticed that ImpactWrestling.com no longer seems to have a Roster section, a very dubious fact. So in order to add to the list of names who are absent who probably deserve some sort of involvement with the pay per view, such as Davey Richards, Tyrus, and Rockstar Spud, I looked through their Merch area. I understand that Kurt Angle isn’t around anymore, and neither are Eric Young or Bobby Roode. But what about James Storm?

On a side-note, I dug deeper into some research about the guys formerly known as the Beat Down Clan because their merch is still available through the Impact Wrestling Shop website. It’s depressing to see that talents like MVP, Samoa Joe, LAX, Low Ki and Kenny King have all parted ways with Impact over the past year. It’s not a good trend for the company, especially with some of them preferring Ring Of Honor and Lucha Underground, more of the second-tier competition to WWE (making them direct competitors of Impact Wrestling).

The Verdict

I’m significantly less enthused about this pay per view than I have been about some of the cards they’ve produced in the past, but it’s not only the result of talent departures. Their inability to properly utilize their website and hashtags, especially for parts of their roster who could help broaden the fanbase, is depressing.

I won’t be ordering the event.