TNA Slammiversary XI Predictions: Bully Ray vs Sting, Ultimate X and Much More
photo from impactwrestling.com
TNA Wrestling presents their 11th anniversary show Slammiversary, live on pay-per-view Sunday night!
TNA first held Slammiversary in June 2003 as a one-hour special on PPV to celebrate the company’s one-year anniversary.
On June 19, 2005, Slammiversary III became a three-hour event that saw Raven win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from AJ Styles, Abyss, Monty Brown and Sean Waltman in the debut of the King of the Mountain match. Slammiversary has since become one of TNA Wrestling’s flagship PPV’s.
This year’s event will feature eight matches over the course of the three-hour event. Four of TNA’s six titles will be on the line, while three other matches will see wrestlers try to settle a score. The eighth match will see two Gut Check winners get the spotlight as they battle it out for a spot in the Bound for Glory Series.
The hype for this event has been quite good as the majority of the matches have been built up for months. I personally will be attending Slammiversary this year, and I couldn’t be more excited! Even if I wasn’t going, I would still be looking forward to this show.
As I make my way to Boston, here is the card for Slammiversary XI and who I think is going to win!
And make sure to watch out for my article about the live experience, which should be up no later than Tuesday!
Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw: Bound for Glory Series Qualifier Match
Jay Bradley and Sam Shaw’s Slam Records: both making their debuts
In May, TNA Wrestling announced that four Gut Check winners would compete in a tournament to determine which of them would get to enter the 2013 Bound for Glory Series.
Jay Bradley defeated Christian York in the first match, and Sam Shaw won by default when the Aces & Eights took out Alex Silva. The finals were set for Slammiversary, and here we are.
Putting a Gut Check winner in the BFGS is a great idea. It gives them major exposure on Impact Wrestling, pay-per-view and at house shows. It will also give them the chance to work with some of TNA’s biggest talent.
I expected York to win the whole thing, seeing as he’s the one Gut Check winner to actually get television time after winning, but I’m overall glad he won’t be because of that reason. Somebody else deserves the spotlight now.
As for the winner, I think it could go either way. Both guys are talented inside the ring and should be featured more. When the smoke clears, though, there can only be one winner. Both guys are making their Slammiversary debuts, and the one that I feel will be winning is Sam Shaw.
Winner: Sam Shaw
Devon vs. Joseph Park: TNA Television Championship
Devon’s Slam Record: 3-2
Joseph Park’s Slam Record: 4-2 as Abyss, 1-0 as Park
TV Title Defended at Slam: first time
Around the time of last year’s Bound for Glory, Joseph Park started to investigate the Aces & Eights for Hulk Hogan and Sting. It resulted in his kidnapping and torture, and ultimately saw the unmasking of Devon as the Sgt. at Arms at Bound for Glory.
Since then, Park has remained in the crosshairs of the Aces & Eights. He has backed up TNA in the fight against them and has had a few matches with some members as well.
One who has particularly targeted Park was TNA Television champion Devon. The Sgt. at Arms would attack him on multiple occasions, and when he wasn’t attacking him, he was dishing out verbal abuse.
A few weeks ago, Park begged Hogan for a match against Devon. He not only wanted to avenge a loss to him at January’s Genesis, but he wanted payback for everything that Devon and the Aces & Eights had done to him. After a victory against prospect D’Lo Brown, Hogan gave Park his match.
Joseph Park is one of the most interesting characters TNA has ever come up with. While most fans know who Park is, TNA has created a good balance for the storyline.
Devon has been Television champion for 177 days now. It is the third-longest reign in the title’s history, behind only Eric Young’s 180-day reign and his own 192-day reign last year. I honestly can’t remember the last time he has actually defended the title, though.
Despite competing for a title that practically means nothing, this match has major implications in the Aces & Eights storyline. If Park wins, TNA gains one of their titles back, which may not sit too well with president Bully Ray. Devon could go the route of Brown and get demoted to prospect.
Both wrestlers have a good amount of experience at the Slammiversary event, with Devon winning 60 percent of his matches and Park winning 71 percent, though four of his victories were as Abyss.
Abyss is who I think is going to be a factor here. Either his music is going to play distracting Devon, or someone will come out dressed as him like last year when Park faced Bully Ray. Either way, TNA will finally be getting a new Television champion here.
Winner and New Champion: Joseph Park
Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell: Last Knockout Standing Match
Gail Kim’s Slam Record: 1-1
Taryn Terrell’s Slam Record: debut
During August of last year, Taryn Terrell was introduced as the Knockouts division’s referee. She always called things right down the middle, but in January, she caught the attention of Gail Kim.
At Genesis, Terrell made a bad call that cost Kim the No. 1 contender’s spot for the TNA Knockouts Championship. The winner was Velvet Sky, and Kim soon felt that the two were out to get her. After Kim lost another match to Velvet, Kim got more and more physical with Taryn.
The woman formally known as Tiffany soon had enough and attacked Kim in response to the physical and verbal abuse. That led to Terrell losing her job as a referee, but gaining a wrestling contract with TNA.
Terrell and Kim continued their war, trading victories back-and-forth in singles and tag team matches. Taryn would gain the last victory between them, but Kim had the last laugh.
The two-time Knockouts champion adopted a Figure-Four Leg Lock to her arsenal and would apply it on the ring post. Kim not only took out Terrell with the move but also Tara and then-Knockouts champion Velvet Sky.
The injury to Velvet ultimately cost her the title to Mickie James, while Terrell is now back and looking for revenge in a Last Knockout Standing match.
The matches Kim and Terrell have had in the past have actually been pretty good. Being in the ring with a veteran like Kim, though, really brought Terrell’s inexperience to light. Kim helped her in good matches, so Terrell looked good in the ring at the end of the day.
Adding the Last Knockout Standing stipulation to the match was a great idea. The hardcore-style of the match will help Terrell and also showcase Kim’s new attitude. The match also shows up WWE’s Divas as fans would never see them in an extreme match, at least not nowadays.
Knockouts matches are typically better than Divas matches, and they’ll show just how tough they are here. Sure, both women are former WWE Divas, but even when they were there, there were no such matches for the division.
I am very much looking forward to this match due to the stipulation and the overall build behind it.
This match will be Terrell’s Slammiversary’s debut, while Kim has a victory having wrestled at two previous events. Kim is walking in with the Slammiversary experience, but I don’t think that’s going to matter. She has been mowing over the division lately, and I feel that it’s time for her first victim to gain some revenge.
Winner: Taryn Terrell
Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide: Ultimate X for the TNA X Division Title
Kenny King’s Slam Record: debut
Sabin’s Slam Record: 0-4
Suicide’s Slam Record: 1-0
X-Title Defended at Slam: seven times
Successfully Defended: six times
TNA Wrestling’s X Division has been the most interesting it has been in years. The division is finally back in the spotlight, and it’s thanks to the new rules.
All X Division matches are to be contested in Triple Threat matches, whether it’s a title or a contender’s match. The wrestler who is pinned in the title match is out and must re-earn his spot in the next, while the wrestler who isn’t pinned is either champion or moves onto the next match.
The new rule has made champion Kenny King into a fighting champion. He has defeated former X Division champions like Petey Williams, Chris Sabin and Zema Ion and has also taken down division veterans like Sonjay Dutt.
Seeing as Sabin wasn’t pinned in the last title match, he moved onto Slammiversary for the return of Ultimate X. The third challenger was determined last week when Suicide made his return to defeat Joey Ryan and Petey Williams.
This match is going to be an exciting one, especially seeing as Sabin is a veteran of the Ultimate X. The Suicide character has been in one, too, but the person under the mask may not have been. Sabin may be taking fewer risks than he used to due to his knee, though he’s still going to be a major highlight in this match. I can’t wait to see it live!
I think King is going to be a human highlight reel, but will that lead to his victory?
This year is King’s very first appearance at a Slammiversary, while both Suicide and Sabin have appeared before. Suicide’s one appearance was a successful one in a King of the Mountain match, but Sabin has not been so lucky. He has appeared at four events and has lost all four of his matches.
In terms of the X Division Championship, the belt has been defended seven times at Slammiversary. Six champions successfully defended, one of which was Suicide. King may be a Slammiversary rookie, but history is in his corner.
When Sabin returned, it was made into a big deal. Seeing as he was returning from back-to-back knee surgeries, it kind of was a big deal. Since he came up short last time, I can see Chris Sabin grabbing the title here.
Then in July, he’ll cash in Option C for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Winner and New Champion: Chris Sabin
Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff
Samoa Joe’s Slam Record: 3-4
Jeff Hardy’s Slam Record: 1-1
Magnus’ Slam Record: 1-1
Mr. Anderson’s Slam Record: 3-0
Garett Bischoff’s Slam Record: 1-0
Wes Brisco’s Slam Record: debut
The war with the Aces & Eights has been going on for almost a year now. In fact, come June 15, it will be a full year since the Aces & Eights made their debut.
The group has targeted many TNA Wrestlers throughout the course of the year, including the likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Magnus and even the champions of the company. While the TNA Army has had their victories, the Aces & Eights have dominated almost every Thursday on Impact Wrestling and on PPV.
At Lockdown in March, all of the members were unmasked but one. The president of the gang was still a mystery, but the mystery was soon solved.
Bully Ray would accept a hammer from his half-brother and Aces & Eights Sgt. at Arms Devon during his TNA World Heavyweight Championship match against Jeff Hardy, and when it was all said and done, Bully Ray was the new champion and revealed as the president.
TNA would still get small victories here and there, but the Aces & Eights had control of TNA. In the second of three TNA vs. Aces & Eights matches at Slammiversary, the team of Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and Magnus, all of whom have been put on the shelf by the gang, will take on Aces & Eights members Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff.
This year will mark the Slammiversary debut of Brisco, while Bischoff competed in a winning effort last year and Anderson is undefeated at the event. Despite having Anderson’s 3-0 record on their side, the experience edge goes to their opponents, especially the seven previous appearances of Samoa Joe.
TNA needs this victory. They have been on the losing end too much in this feud lately, and the three involved here need to gain a bit of revenge for what the Aces & Eights have done to them. I think this match will go to Team TNA, which will give them major momentum going into the World Championship match later on.
Winners: Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and Magnus
Four-Way Elimination Tag Team Match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (debut, 2-2) vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian (3-2, 0-4) vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (1-0, 3-4) vs. James Storm and Gunner (4-3, debut)
Tag Titles Defended at Slam: seven times (twice as NWA)
Successfully Defended: four times
The tag team division in TNA may be small, but it is quite exciting. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, Bad Influence and the team of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode have been trading the TNA World Tag Team Championship for months now.
Guerrero and Hernandez took the belts from Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, Aries and Roode won them from Guerrero and Hernandez, but now they have them back.
The two heel teams have been vying for the No. 1 contender spot ever since Aries and Roode lost the belts and have been giving fans some great matches and very entertaining segments as a result.
After Bad Influence tried, and failed, to reform, Fortune James Storm entered the mix. He cost them both the No. 1 contender spot and got himself attacked because of that. General manager Hulk Hogan made the decision to put all of them into one match for the titles, but Storm’s partner was yet to be named.
Last week on Impact Wrestling, both Robbie E and a returning Shark Boy lobbied to be his partner, but it was the returning Gunner that got the spot.
I was hoping for an America’s Most Wanted reunion with Chris Harris, but I’m happy with Gunner. He’s a lot more talented than some give him credit for, and he’s going to prove that in this match with six of TNA’s best. Guerrero will also be there, too.
This match is very interesting and quite hard to predict. Does TNA keep the titles where they are, or get Aries and Roode’s quest for all of TNA’s gold back on track? Do they develop Storm and Gunner into more than just a one-time team, or will Bad Influence reclaim their spot back on top?
Both Guerrero and Gunner will be making their Slammiversary debuts here, while the other six have been here before. Statistically, Aries and Roode have the best chance with a combined win percentage of 72. Bad Influence are dead last with 30 percent thanks to Kazarian’s 0-4 record.
The Tag Team Championship itself has been defended at seven Slammiversary events, two defenses of which were the NWA Tag Team Championship, but only four champions have kept the titles at the end of the night.
This prediction is a tricky one. This is how I think the match will go: Guerrero and Hernandez will be eliminated first by Bad Influence. Bad Influence will then be taken out by Aries and Roode, leaving them with the team of Storm and Gunner.
When the smoke clears, Aries and Roode will be holding the titles up high.
Winners and New Champions: Austin Aries and Bobby Roode
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
AJ Styles’ Slam Record: 3-5
Kurt Angle’s Slam Record: 5-1
AJ Styles and Kurt Angle have had a long rivalry in TNA. Much like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, he and Kurt Angle have gone from friends to enemies so many times I’ve lost count.
This time around, Styles’ refusal to take a side is what set off the Olympic gold medalist. For the past month or two, both TNA and the Aces & Eights have been courting Styles to join them. Think WCW and the New World Order wanted Sting back in the day. Similar storyline, but I like the way TNA has gone about it.
For weeks, Styles just wouldn’t answer anybody. He would ignore the Aces & Eights, attack James Storm and Bad Influence and simply walk away from Hulk Hogan, Sting and Angle. His silence finally angered Angle to the point of attacking Styles, which got some to believe that he would now end up joining the Aces & Eights.
Last week on Impact Wrestling, it certainly looked like he was heading in that direction. Styles would not only hug Taz and cost Angle a match against member Mr. Anderson; he would accept a vest and help the Aces & Eights beat down Angle at the end of the show.
Much to their surprise, though, Styles turned the hammer to D.O.C. and took his head right off. He walked out of the ring and took off the vest before leaving the arena. He’s not a member of the Aces & Eights, but he’s also not joining the TNA Army. He’s his own man in this situation.
It’s because of that, though, he’ll have to watch his back during this match. Angle will have to do the same.
It doesn’t matter how many times I see these two go at it, I will always look forward to the match. Both of them are two of the best the business has to offer. Seeing this match live is only adding to my excitement.
Looking at the history of the event, Slammiversary has been kind to Kurt Angle. He is 5-1 at the event, while AJ Styles is 3-5. The Phenomenal One has not been so phenomenal at TNA’s anniversary show. Can he bounce back this year? I think that it’s definitely possible.
Styles’ current character is the best one he has had in years. He is must-see once again. Losing this match would kill the momentum that he currently has, so I can see this going to AJ Styles. He will then enter the Bound for Glory Series and hopefully win the whole thing!
Winner: AJ Styles
Bully Ray vs. Sting: No Holds Barred for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
If Sting loses, he will never get another shot at the TNA World title ever again
Bully Ray’s Slam Record: 3-4
Sting’s Slam Record: 2-4
World Title Defended at Slam: seven times (twice as NWA)
Successfully Defended: three times
At Lockdown in March, Bully Ray stabbed TNA in the back when he was revealed as the president of the Aces & Eights. Taking the TNA World Heavyweight Championship away from Jeff Hardy didn’t help matters either.
One of Bully’s main backers was Sting, who convinced Hulk Hogan to not only trust him as a partner against the Aces & Eights, but also as the husband to his daughter Brooke. Hogan developed a mistrust of Sting as a result, and the Icon left TNA for a few weeks.
He made his return to save Hogan from an attack, which got the Hulkster to put Sting into a No. 1 contender’s match. Hogan and Sting were together once again, and Sting was now set to try to take the power away from Bully Ray and the Aces & Eights.
With a No Holds Barred stipulation and the promise that Sting would never get another title shot if he lost, the main event for Slammiversary was ready to go.
Both Bully Ray and Sting have similar records at Slammiversary, with Bully having one more match than the Icon. Statistically, they’re about even. The event has not been too kind to World champions, though.
Seven champions have defended at Slammiversary, with two of them being NWA World champion, but only three of those champions have defended successfully. History is not on the side of Bully Ray.
If my predictions for two earlier matches are correct, the Aces & Eights will not be having a good night at this point. Add in the stipulation that Sting will never get another title shot if he loses, then it’s safe to say that Sting will win, right? I don’t think so.
Sting’s in-ring career is winding down. He can still get the job done in the ring, but it’s time for him to begin to step aside. I fully believe that 2013 will be Sting’s final year as an active wrestler for TNA, so never getting another title shot makes sense.
Bully Ray will recoup the Aces & Eights’ momentum here by defeating Sting and retaining his title. How he retains the title will cause a bit of controversy for the Hogan family, though. I can see Brooke Hogan help Bully to victory somehow.
Winner and Still Champion: Bully Ray