Last Sunday night, TNA presented its ninth annual Slammiversary pay-per-view live from the Agganis Arena in Boston. With it being the third pay-per-view event TNA has produced so far this year, it certainly captured the big-fight feel that it should have.
Unlike Lockdown, Slammiversary had excellent build in its preceding weeks and it still managed to exceeded my expectations for being an enjoyable show. With three title changes over the course of the night and an announcement regarding the next inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame, there's no doubt that this event was one not to be missed.
Not only that, but the live Boston crowd definitely made for an exciting environment throughout the show. All in all, this year's installment was a success that set the tone for the upcoming summer season in TNA.
However, while watching the show, I came across numerous parallels to last year's Slammiversary pay-per-view. If they were done on purpose is beyond me, but they seem more like coincidences than anything else.
For those of you who are aware of my useless wrestling knowledge, I present you with eight similarities I found that made this year's event no different from last year's. In doing so, I'll prove to you, Bleachers, why history does indeed repeat itself.
Since the early beginnings of the company in 2002, the X-Division has always been the focal point of TNA. It's what the company is best known for and makes it different than every other major pro wrestling organization today.
The X-Division features some of TNA's most exciting and electrifying young stars battling for the coveted X-Division Championship. In recent months, the title has been defended in Triple Threat matches where the person who is pinned is removed from the championship picture.
In the opening match of last Sunday's event, Kenny King put his gold up for grabs against Chris Sabin and Suicide in an Ultimate X match. In the end, Sabin retrieved the strap and earned the right to call himself the new X-Division Champion.
The X-Division matches are known to open pay-per-views most times, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. This would mark the second consecutive year that the title was defended in the opening slot at of Slammiversary and the first time since 2007 that it has changed hands at the event.
Similar to Kurt Angle and AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson have feuded with each other quite a few times in the last three years. As a matter of fact, they've collided at three of the last four Slammiversary events.
In 2010, Anderson and Hardy joined forces to take on the team of Robert Roode and James Storm, collectively known as Beer Money. Although they weren't a cohesive unit going into the event, Hardy and Anderson emerged victorious.
Last year at Slammiversary, the former allies were placed in a Triple Threat match that also involved Rob Van Dam, where the winner would earn a future shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. In the end, Anderson continued his winning ways at the event by picking up the victory.
In his first official match since April, Hardy teamed with Samoa Joe and Magnus to take on Aces and Eights representatives Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff last Sunday at Slammiversary. The Charismatic Enigma silenced Anderson and his partners by scoring the win, giving Anderson his first official loss at the event.
After failing to win back the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Bobby Roode at last year's Lockdown event, James Storm took a brief hiatus from wrestling. He made his return to the ring at Slammiversary, ending the near year-long undefeated streak of Crimson.
He was in action at Slammiversary once again this year, this time in tag team action. He and Gunner emerged victorious in an elimination Fatal 4-Way tag team match to win the World Tag Team Championships.
While Abyss may not have technically competed at last year's installment, his alter-ego Joesph Park did, defeating Bully Ray in singles action. Abyss hasn't lost a match at Slammiversary since 2006, whereas Storm hasn't lost a match at the event since 2009.
Going into Slammiversary, a number of tandems had their sights set on the World Tag Team Championships. After winning the straps back in April, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez had a huge target on their backs and were set to defend their gold against three other pairings at Slammiversary.
The teams included Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian and the newly formed team of James Storm and Gunner. Regardless of their inexperience as a team, Storm and Gunner lastly eliminated Aries and Roode to pick up the Tag Team titles.
This wouldn't be the first time the belts have changed hands at the event, as AJ Styles and Kurt Angle won them from Daniels and Kazarian at last year's installment as well.
Upon her arrival on the TNA scene in October 2011, Gail Kim instantly became one of the most dominant competitors in the Knockouts division. She wasted no time in capturing the Knockouts Championship from Velvet Sky and reigned as champion for nearly seven months.
Her reign came to an end at the hands of Ms. Tessmacher, who defeated Kim at last year's Slammiversary event to win the gold. She was removed from the title picture shortly thereafter and instead set her sights on Taryn Terrell, the Knockout's division latest acquisition.
The two clashed in a brutal Last Knockout Standing match last Sunday on Slammiversary, where Terrell emerged victorious following an impressive bulldog off the stage. Should we expect to see Kim lose next year at Slammiversary as well?
As two of TNA's top stars, it's no surprise that AJ Styles and Kurt Angle have feuded with one another numerous times over the last five years. Regardless of how many times they face each other, they never cease to have entertaining matches inside the squared circle.
However, they've also been able to put their differences aside at times and join forces. This was the case last summer, when Styles and Angle chased Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the World Tag Team Championships.
The two tandems were set to do battle at that year's Slammiversary event in tag team action. In what was one of the best TNA matches of 2012, Angle and Styles picked up the win and the Tag Team titles.
They weren't on the same side at this year's installment, though, as they reignited their feud a few months ago and were on a collision course going into Slammiversary. Despite a valiant effort, Styles was unsuccessful in defeating Angle, thus evening the score between the two in singles matches at the event.
It's also worth noting that the Olympic gold medalist's only loss in Slammiversary history occurred at 2008's event, where he was defeated by Styles.
At March's Lockdown event, Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy to win his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship following interference from Aces and Eights. Since then, Bully Ray and company have run rampant over TNA, attacking anyone who dare step in their path of destruction.
In late April, Sting defeated Matt Morgan to become the No. 1 contender to the TNA title. It was later announced that the match would be held under No Holds Barred rules, where Sting would no longer be able to challenge for the prestigious prize if he were to lose to Bully Ray.
At the event, Bully Ray soundly defeated Sting with a little help from his Aces and Eights stablemates. This is the second straight year that the TNA title has been successfully defended at Slammiversary, as Bobby Roode emerged victorious over Sting to retain his strap at last year's installment as well.
In the last decade, Sting has enjoyed four reigns as TNA World Heavyweight champion. However, he hasn't had much success in attempting to gain the gold at Slammiversary in recent years.
At 2010's event, Sting came up short of defeating Rob Van Dam for the TNA World title. Although he walked into the following year's event as champion, he walked out with nothing after Mr. Anderson defeated him to win the belt.
At last year's installment, Sting came close to capturing his fifth TNA World Championship from Bobby Roode but was unsuccessful after Roode smashed a beer bottle over the skull of Sting. Last Sunday at Slammiversary, Bully Ray defeated Sting via outside interference from Aces and Eights to successfully defend his prestigious prize.
Thankfully, though, per the stipulation of his match with Bully Ray, Sting will not be able to challenge for the belt anymore going forward.
By the end of the night, I really felt I had reordered last year's Slammiversary pay-per-view as opposed to watching the one I originally paid for. While some of the competitors may have altered, the results and the sense of deja vu certainly didn't.
Were TNA's intentions to cause this year's event to be such a rehash? Or are my keen detective skills and memory just too much for them to handle?
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment regarding your thoughts on last Sunday's Slammiversary pay-per-view and its similarities to last year. If you feel any corrections need to be made, feel free to drop a comment below with the accurate information.
Read more of my WWE/TNA Fun Fact articles here.