TNA's recently revamped schedule limited the pay-per-view events to just four per year, but with Sunday night's Slammiversary XI, the company got its money's worth.
Live from the Agganis Arena in Boston, there wasn't much that didn't happen.
There were titles that changed hands. There were stipulation matches that produced some absolutely scintillating action. There was an instant-classic knockouts match that proved TNA has the best women's division in the world. There was the announcement of a new member being inducted into the Hall of Fame. There was the dismantling of the ring. There was tons of crowd interaction and excitement.
It was the perfect way for the company to celebrate its 11th anniversary.
Let's take a look at everything that happened.
Note: (c) denotes champion before start of match
Ultimate X Match for the X Division Title: Chris Sabin defeats Suicide and Kenny King (c)
Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Magnus defeat Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff
Jay Bradley defeats Sam Shaw for spot in this year's Bound for Glory series
TNA Television Title: Devon (c) defeats Joseph Park when Park doesn't come to ring
TNA Television Title: Abyss defeats Devon (c)
Dixie Carter announces Kurt Angle as next TNA Hall of Fame inductee
TNA Tag Team Title Elimination Match: Gunner and James Storm defeat Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (c) and Daniels and Kazarian
Last Knockout Standing Match: Taryn Terrell defeats Gail Kim
Kurt Angle defeats AJ Styles
No Holds Barred Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bully Ray (c) defeats Sting
Bully Ray Retains
How would you grade the PPV overall?
It wasn't easy, but Bully Ray was able to defeat Sting and hold on to his title.
After some action outside of the ring, things moved back inside the ropes where Bully Ray appeared to have the victory after he landed the piledriver.
But Sting kicked out.
Moments later, Bully Ray power bombed the challenger through a table.
But Sting kicked out.
Bully Ray then took apart the canvas and piledrove Sting onto the exposed wood:
But Sting kicked out, which brought out the jokes:
Can we start callin him Super Sting now?? The guy kicked out of a piledriver onto straight wood!!! C'mon now. #Slammiversary— Derek Lee Jones (@Best_HEEL_Ever) June 3, 2013
After all of those unbelievable near pinfalls, Sting regained control and came close to winning the title before Aces & Eights got involved.
Naturally, Sting fought them all off, and it wasn't until Bully Ray landed a hammer shot that he was able to score the win:
There will be complaints about how strong Sting was, but it's tough to be upset with the 54-year-old putting on an thrilling show:
Sting loses but that was one hell of a sick match. Feeling sorry for Sting but his time is up.— WWF Old School (@WWF_OldSchool) June 3, 2013
Perhaps this was the swan song for the icon.
A Slew of Title Changes
This year's Slammiversary will be defined as the pay-per-view of title changes.
To get the night started, Chris Sabin was able to defeat champion-incumbent champion Kenny King and fellow challenger Suicide, and as you can tell by the post-match photo, he put his body on the line in the process:
As it tends to go with Ultimate X matches—and really just X division matches in general—this was an incredibly entertaining match with plenty of jaw-dropping spots.
Afterwards, Sabin even got a congratulations from Hulk Hogan himself:
Brilliant move by TNA to have Hulk Hogan giving his seal of approval to Chris Sabin and the X division.— Wrestling Revealed (@WR_Revealed) June 3, 2013
The next title match was supposed to Devon vs. Joseph Park for the TV championship, but after Devon and Knox attacked Park backstage, the former was nowhere to be found when it was time for the match to start.
Unsurprisingly, that developed into the return of Park's alter ego, Abyss, who beat Devon for the title:
It was far from anything special as an actual match, but the allure was in the return of Abyss:
Abyss hits the #BlackholeSlam to win the TV championship. Not too much heat given it was only Devon, kinda blah, but nice to see Abyss back.— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) June 3, 2013
Finally, we had the four-way tag-team elimination match, which drew praise from many as the match of the night:
Who did you want to see win?
Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez were actually eliminated second, leaving Gunner and James Storm vs. Aries and Roode to determine the new champion.
In the end, Aries nailed a crazy 450, but Gunner was able to kick out, which pushed the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Shortly after, Storm hit the Last Call on Aries and Gunner landed the Gun Rack for the win.