TNA Slammiversary came to College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, Sunday night for the 12th edition of the company's popular pay-per-view.
A change to the main event after MVP's knee injury threatened to weaken the show, but the often-criticized company responded nicely with a stacked card, a slew of in-ring talent and several memorable moments.
Let's take a look at how the show unfolded.
Ladder Match for TNA X Division Championship: Sanada (c) Defeats Manik, Tigre Uno, Crazzy Steve, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards
What a way to start the show.
There was next to zero buildup for this match, and as such, it wasn't at all surprising that Sanada was able to retain his belt. However, this wasn't really about the storyline or result. As always with the X Division, it was all about the scintillating in-ring action.
Featuring an array of unbelievable spots, the fast-paced match was nonstop thrilling action. TNA's Twitter feed caught one of the many insane moments:
The Sun Sentinel's Scott Fishman put it simply:
Even the biggest skeptics couldn't deny the entertainment value of this match. Tremendous performance all around.
Bobby Lashley Defeats Samoa Joe
Another very good match. It may not have been of the same high-flying nature as the opener, but Bobby Lashley and Samoa Joe worked perfectly together.
Joe is a versatile athlete who can work any kind of match, while Lashley has captivating power. They decided to go the route of a physical match, and the result was an entertaining slobberknocker of a battle.
Once again, Fishman summed it up perfectly:
That said, many won't be satisfied with the booking. Joe, a longtime fan favorite, got distracted avoiding the referee, opening him up for a match-finishing spear from Lashley. The decision to keep him out of the title match will be a controversial one.
Magnus (with Bram) Defeats Willow (with Abyss)
Different package, same Jeff Hardy. Still, while his matches continue to look similar, that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining. Hardy, now fighting as Willow, will always be good for a few exciting spots and some high-flying action.
Magnus also looked solid, and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here. The title picture is currently a little crowded, suggesting he may continue to feud with Willow. Either way, he and Bram have a lot of potential together, and this win gives them some nice momentum.
Austin Aries Defeats Kenny King
The start of the match was a little slow, but things seriously picked up down the stretch. The pace quickened, there were a bunch of exciting near-falls and Aries eventually hit a massive brainbuster off the top rope to book the last spot in the main event.
Aries/King was fantastic. Quick action, great spots, nice chemistry, sweet finish. Would love this as a feud! #Slammiversary— Evan Medina (@EMULTRAOFFICIAL) June 16, 2014
It's a bit enticing to think of what this one could have been if given some more time, but it was still extremely good as it was.
Marshall and Ross Von Erich (with Kevin Von Erich) Defeat The BroMans via DQ
You can witness endless in-ring battles, but it's these type of moments that are really special.
After The BroMans disqualified themselves with a chair shot, Kevin Von Erich came in for the save of his sons with The Iron Claw. Yes, it happened. Legend Kevin Von Erich. Iron Claw. In Texas. On Father's Day. It was too perfect.
Unsurprisingly, it got the biggest pop of the night.
The match was so-so (although Marshall and Ross showed some potential), but this was all about that unforgettable spot.
TNA Knockout Championship: Angelina Love (c) Defeats Gail Kim
TNA continues to prove that it has the best women's division in terms of in-ring talent.
Gail Kim was tremendous as always, while Angelina Love had some impressive spots of her own. However, the ending was, well, weird.
Referee Earl Hebner came to the rescue when Velvet Sky tried to interfere, but when he took a bump and was taken out of the match, original referee Brian Stiffler took his spot. Stiffler refused to count to three for Kim, but he did so after Love got a roll up.
Texas Death Match: Ethan Carter III Defeats Bully Ray
This one was all kinds of entertaining.
There were cowbells, cheese graters, tables and chairs. Bully hit ECIII with an RKO onto shards of glass. ECIII hit Bully onto the bare wood, after the latter had removed the canvas and padding inside the ropes. There was no shortage of spots, and the crowd was really into it.
Ultimately, Dixie Carter made her way to the aid of her nephew, but Bully set her up on two tables. When he was about to go off the top rope, though, ECIII hit him with a kendo stick, sending him through the tables instead of the TNA president.
Bully Ray vs Ethan Carter was a good match but it got ruined by the interference. The match had potential to be better. #Slammiversary— Revamped Wrestling (@RevampedWrestle) June 16, 2014
It was a bit of a shaky ending, but overall, it was an enjoyable back-and-forth hardcore battle.
Ken Anderson Defeats James Storm
With a little help from George Selvie and the Dallas Cowboys, Ken Anderson was able to get the win over James Storm.
There was nothing too special about this match, but it was a nice way to have some fun before the main event. It was also a way for the Cowboys to beat The Cowboy, hopefully earning TNA a mention on TNA.
Steel Cage Match for TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Eric Young (c) Defeats Bobby Lashley and Austin Aries
There was a lot of back-and-forth action to start the match, with all three competitors showing off some good, physical offense inside the cage.
While there were thrilling spots all around, Eric Young had arguably the two biggest moments. The first came when he lifted both of his opponents on his back, landing a massive double fallaway slam.
The second came when he climbed to the top of the cage and delivered a 20-foot elbow drop.
Again, though, all three were tremendous, and the match never felt too cluttered, which can tend to happen in a triple-threat cage match. Throw in zero distractions, Young retaining with a piledriver on Aries and two shaking hands after, and this was a great end to a very solid PPV.