This is a review of the National Geographic (Nat Geo) TV Channel special Slammed: Inside Indie Wrestling that aired August 24th at 10:00 pm and again on the 25th at 1:00 am, and my observations and review is based on the latter airing. Enjoy.
It started off on a good note, as the Nat Geo channel was hyping the show as it was coming up, and made sure to say it was fixed, not fake.
It started with a montage involving footage from National Wrestling Superstars (NWS) and Ring of Honor (ROH). It made it obvious that the main focus of the show would be about Danny Gimondo and Michael Paris, otherwise known as Danny Inferno and Shiima Xion.
It began with the owner of NWS, Dapper Johnny Falco, saying his show was fun and family friendly. Then, he gets a call from Danny Inferno saying he will be late to the show, as he went the wrong way because of the bad directions on the NWS website. This angers Falco, and has him confront his partner Gino Moore. Inferno finally shows up, and apologizes for him being late.
He then talks about him being on a path for redemption, to stay clean and make his way back to the WWE. He then goes out for his match with Luke Gallows as his backup. He faced a guy who reminded me of the Junkyard Dog. During the match, the fake Junkyard Dog made fun of the Straight Edge Society and called them chickens, and began to act like one. Danny still won the match and dominated, with the crowd really being into the show.
It then goes to Dapper talking about the show flopping financially and he mused that the entire wrestling business was beginning to really feel the effects of a stagnate economy. It then goes to them at their next show in Flemington, NJ where they are setting up the ring.
Dapper began to talk about the fans and how they act, and went to talking about how wrestlers are weekend warriors in most cases, like that of J.D. Smoothie, who is normally a man in the vacuum business but also wrestles and is a ring guy. He talks about his desire to become the best entertainer in the business. We then learn somebody canceled on Dapper, which led to him yelling about that aspect of the Indies.
After a commercial break, it goes to Inferno waking up and getting a breakfast of nearly a dozen egg whites for diet purposes, to counteract how he screwed up his body after he was fired by the WWE. After breakfast, he heads to his bathroom and begins talking about promos and how he is great at them He then cuts a promo in the mirror which was very serious. He talks about in depth about his release in the WWE and its aftermath, but then focuses on his ROH tryout that was coming up for him.
It then goes to a shot of ROH in Philly, and Cornette talked about how ROH was different from the other wrestling products. Roderick Strong also reveals his pet peeve of people thinking wrestling is fake and the Briscoes testified to that being the truth citing Mark and the teeth he lost because of Jay in a match. Cornette hyped up the upcoming tryouts.
Then it went to Chester, West Virginia as they introduced Xion at his mother’s home, which he went to in order to get his kneepad protector sewn. He then talks about his mother’s past as a mail-order bride and how she had to raise three kids by herself as Xion’s dad passed away when he was five, and his desire to get hired by ROH so he could give money to her as repayment of everything she had done for him.
Then, it went back to NWS, and how Dapper had to rewrite the show because of the people who canceled. JD Smoothie got mad as he went from a match he liked to facing the Nigerian Nightmares, a 900-pound duo of wannabe Kamala’s. Dapper said it was his ego, but I personally disagree.
Then, there was a quick scene of Inferno getting a tan and him saying it was something that he overdid, but he needed to do it for his look for the ROH tryout.
It went back to ROH, and had the Kings of Wrestling talk about their craft for a little while. Then, we see Chris Hero begin to talk to Zion, who is trying to get ready for his tryout. It showed Zion watching the Kings of Wrestling match, which encouraged Zion to say he was ready.
After a commercial break, it goes back to NWS and we see Smoothie talk negatively about those wrestlers who canceled, and then discussed the match with his competitors. The show began and the match occurred, which Smoothie did not like as he could not realistically do anything to the Nigerian Nightmares and was promptly crushed and defeated.
It then went to Dapper talking about how the show had lost money, but reassuring people that NWS was the best company at their level.
Then, Xion heads to the ROH tryouts. We hear Cornette speak to the try-outies while they show Inferno arriving. We hear then owner Cary Silken talk of the success of the tryouts. Xion then admits to being nervous, while Inferno talks about his age disadvantage (nearly 34). They begin promos, and show the other people at the tryout giving them and not getting good reviews from Cornette.
We head back to Dapper doing some things at his home base of operations, showing that the company was made there, from booking dates to flyers to ticket cutting.
Then, Inferno hypes the bigness of the moment and goes and cuts his promo, which focused on the lethalness of his right hand, which gave Cornette “goose bumps.” Inferno felt good and admitted hearing he gave Cornette goose bumps.
After Inferno leaves, Cornette talked him up and could not wait to see him in the ring. Then, Xion delivers a promo about how he will be an entertainer in ROH as he shows himself to be a narcissistic Filipino model turned wrestler. Cornette told him he liked it, and talked to him about his ability to progress, and before he left said he could not wait to see him in the ring.
We head back to NWS, now in Brick, NJ, where they finally had a perfect show. Everyone was on time, the crowd was nearly a sellout and the crowd was lively. JD Smoothie was shown to be happy with his role in a four-way match with people his size instead of the Nigerian Nightmare’s.
It flashed back to ROH, where they began the “matches” in between the try-outies. Inferno grappled his opponent well and received high praise for his look and the match. They showed clips of all the other matches and went to Xion’s, which was entertaining as he was very vocal, which was praised by Cornette. Silken announced both men were going to get another look, and ends with Inferno thinking he would get the job.
End of special.
As we know now, Inferno was not hired by ROH and Xion is now Xema Ion in TNA. This was a great watch and very entertaining, and can be considered a less dark version of Beyond the Mat. I advise you find time to watch it, and it makes me root for Inferno to find his way back to the top, maybe in the new company Wrestling Revolution?
Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the voice.