Pros: two very good tag team matches
Cons: Main event ending disappointing
TNA Wrestling Slammiversary 2006 took place on June 18, 2006 in the Impact Zone at Universal Studios-Florida. This was the second Slammiversary event and recognized the fourth anniversary of TNA Wrestling. It was a decent pay per view but disappointing when compared to some of the other TNA pay per views. The early matches were okay but the main event did not meet expectations.
The first match was called a “Bingo Hall Brawl” between Team 3D and the James Gang (BG James and Kip James). The title refers to Team 3D’s time as the Dudley Boyz in ECW. It was an extreme rules match where anything goes and weapons were legal. Such props as tables and chairs were involved…and even a bra (props to creative on that one!). Most of the match involved fight-style action involving all four men. The action spilled out into the crows where the camera man seemed to have a bad angle at times. It was a great fight match that differed from the typical tag team matches TNA is known for. At the end of the match Brother Ray had a promo saying that this match was how ECW was done, a job at WWE for their ECW program that had recently hit the air.
Next was handicap match featuring Team Canada members Bobby Roode and Scott D’Amore against the “War Machine” Rhino. The pre-match video highlighting the feud between Rhino and D’Amore was better than the match. Like every other handicap match you had the manager interfering, although D’Amore did at least make it somewhat amusing. In the end Rhino gets a chance to take his swings at the Team Canada leader but the match was pretty predictable.
2006 might very well have been the high point for the X-Division in TNA. The ranking match featured Senshi, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Petey Williams, Alex Shelley, and Shark Boy in a non-stop spotfest where everyone took a turn with their signature moves. Although there was a lot of action I actually thought there were too many participants in this match. It seemed like you had at least two guys just standing around watching the other four perform at any given time. There was a lot of talent misused in the match that made the flow of the match seem to drag.
Kevin Nash met Chris Sabin in a match that was part of “Big Sexy’s” program with the X-Division. One might expect this to be a squash by Nash but it was quite the contrary. Sabin came in to carry the banner for the smaller guys and did a great job. Nash sold Sabin’s moves well. It was an average match but there was only so much you could do given the significant difference in size between the two.
The match of the night may very well have been the bout between America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) and the team of AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. These were two great tag teams that had been together for an extended period and the chemistry made for a heck of a match. They actually started off pretty slow but by the end you had non-stop action with 2-count after 2-count. Each man countered his opponent move for move. Gail Kim was on hand to try to help AMW keep the belts but there was too much AJ and Daniels. A classic TNA tag team match for sure.
The storyline leading up to Samoa Joe’s match with Scott Steiner was good and led up to a pretty intense match. Both these guys can work stiff at times, and either they were both selling it great or there was some real contact going on here. Joe brought a different style to this match going toe-to-toe with Big Poppa Pump. Steiner was solid with some good wrestling moves to compliment his typical physical approach. The result was a surprisingly good match that would be the best singles match in the event.
Slammiversary 2006 brought us the first “King of the Mountain Match”. This is a pretty entertaining match. There are five participants; in this case you have NWA Champion Christian Cage, Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, Ron “The Truth” Killings, and Sting. The five men start the match seeking to become “eligible” by scoring a pinfall or submission against one of their opponents. The man that is pinned or taps out goes into a cage called the Penalty Box for two minutes; you can have more than one person in the cage at a time. Once eligible, the competitor can win the match by getting the championship belt from a TNA official at ringside, climbing a ladder, and hanging it on a hook above the ring. It is an interesting concept once you figure out what is going on. That said, it appeared that the participants were lost at times resulting in some pretty obvious miscommunications taking place. Everyone had a chance to make a big move – Christian’s Unprettier, Abyss went through a table, Jarrett’s Stroke, etc. It was a really interesting match until the end. Interference by referee Earl Hebner and Larry Zbyszko resulted in a controversial victory for Jeff Jarrett. TNA “Authority Figure” Jim Cornette appears and strips Jarrett of the title, leaving everyone involved frustrated. That included the fans in the Impact Zone. Ultimately this is an example of how a bad ending can overshadow a decent match.
The DVD extras include interviews with the participants of the main event match along with some comments from Jim Cornette about the TNA product and what to expect in the future. You get to see some pre-event interviews with the wrestlers as well. Sometimes the extras are not worth the effort but I thought these were all nicely done.
Overall, this is a below average pay per view DVD with mainly average matches. The two tag team matches absolutely stole the show in my opinion, and the main event turned out to be pretty disappointing. If I had paid $34.95 I would have been very unhappy, but getting the DVD for $4.99 I think I got my money’s worth.