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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

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411's PPV Roundtable Preview: TNA Slammiversary 2014
Posted by Larry Csonka on 06.14.2014





THE STAFF:
  • Michael Weyer
  • Justin Watry
  • Wyatt Beougher
  • Michael Hammerlock
  • Dylan Diot
  • Alex Crowder
  • Mike Chin
  • Dino Zee
  • Jericho Ricardi




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    THE SLAMMIVERSARY BREAKDOWN


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    Austin Aries vs. Kenny King (The Winner Moves Onto The Main Event Cage Match)

    Michael Weyer: I've always been a fan of Aries and cite that ending his run as champ in 2012 too soon is one of TNA's biggest mistakes. He can be a great worker still so hopefully a good match to get King over but annoying to see Aries pushed down the card. I'll give it to King to sell this new heel group dominating (yes, that's something we've never seen before in TNA) and hopefully Aries gets more stuff down the road soon.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Justin Watry: Same with Samoa Joe and Bobby Lashley. Not THAT bad of a matchup. Nothing worth plunking down $40 nor caring about but should be entertaining enough. Austin Aries needs to head up north and try his shot at WWE as soon as possible. While I would love to have him defeat Kenny King at the pay-per-view, I do not see it happening. The new heel stable has to look strong, so that points towards a King victory.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Wyatt Beougher: On the bright side, this should be a pretty decent match. Aries and King are both solid in the ring, and hopefully this won't end up being an overbooked mess. I'm starting to worry that MLK is going to nWo this show, with Lashley and King interfering in each other's (and MVP's) matches. Hopefully that doesn't happen and we just get a nice, solid wrestling match from these two. TNA doesn't have another live PPV until Bound for Glory in October, and I'm guessing this angle isn't going to continue in it's present state until then, but I do think MLK is going to stay together beyond this event, which means King wins here.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Mike Hammerlock: Austin Aries is like a good wrestling seal of approval. He almost never has a bad match. Meanwhile, it's nice to King back in the fold. TNA had devolved into All White Guy Wrestling during the past year. Hint: maybe try some more Hispanic folks too. As for the result, King needs the victory more, otherwise he's going to have that Wes Brisco stench.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Dylan Diot: This has the potential to be the show stealer. Both guys know each other well from their history in ROH so I can expect a very good, competitive contest. I got a feeling MVP's heel group is going to dominate on the PPV, so I'm giving King the win here, likely by roll-up with tights.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Alex Crowder: This should be a pretty good match. Kenny King I think is better than some realize and Austin Aries is Austin Aries. Aries tends to bring the goods even in meaningless matches. Both men are very charismatic too, which could make for some interesting interaction throughout the match. I would say Austin Aries should win by virtue of being Austin Aries, but MVP's new heel stable needs to stay strong. Due to the new title match added I say Aries wins instead of King who I would have originally picked.

    Winner: Austin Aries

    Mike Chin: The recent announcement that the winner of this match and the Joe-Lashley confrontation will progress the main event made things more complicated. Still, I'm foreseeing both of MVP's boys picking up wins to put Eric Young firmly in an underdog role, only to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

    Winner: Kenny King

    Dino Zee: The first phase in trying to stop the uprising for MVP and Friends, this match looks to be one that will deliver quite the contest. I'm not quite feeling Aries in his do-gooder tough guy role, but I'm also not totally against it. King is slowly becoming more than That Guy They Call the King of the Night, so that's nice. Honestly, I expect King to pick up the win here, and get the first shot fired for the night.

    Winner: The King of the Night, Kenny King

    Jericho Ricardi: This match has the potential to steal the show if both guys go all-out. Kenny King is immensely talented and I feel like he hasn't really had much chance to show it yet in TNA. Feuding with Aries instantly puts him on an upper-tier level that he wasn't on when he wrestled in the X-Division. This is a very difficult one to predict, and I just hope the company gives this enough time for them to put on a great match. I don't see Aries moving on to the world title main event on this show, but I suspect he'll be back in the world title picture before long.

    Winner: Kenny King via his SICK FINISHER




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    Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley (The Winner Moves Onto The Main Event Cage Match)

    Michael Weyer: This doesn't look too bad. Yeah, Lashley is rough in the ring but a good power guy and clashing with Joe is something the fans can get into. We can hope this leads to more of a push for Joe as he should carry Lashley to a good match, mixing power moves with technical stuff and giving Lashley more of a rub. It'd be nice to see Joe win after his long absence but they're trying to push Lashley more so he gets the win here but at least we have Joe back to liven the scene up a bit more.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Justin Watry: Actually not THAT bad of a matchup. As I predicted at Lockdown, Bobby Lashley had added zero ratings, zero live event attendance, zero buzz, and zero extra publicity. Thus, we are back to square one with him and the company. Samoa Joe is Samoa Joe. What you see is what you get. Since we are getting the 45th stable take over story line in TNA, that means they get a few wins. Sorry Joe...should have jumped to WWE a few years ago.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Wyatt Beougher: As I read over the WWE's most recent batch of released talent, it occurred to me that Bobby Lashley is basically the post-Super Soldier Serum version of Teddy Long. And yes, that's based on both of them having tiny peanut heads and unusual voices and not based on any actual resemblance of physical features. ANYWAY, Lashley's not awful in the ring, and if Joe is actually motivated, this could be one of the better matches on the show. Again though, I'm not convinced that King doesn't interfere in this match and either help Lashley get the win or else get Joe a disqualification win followed by a beatdown. Since Joe is a full-time talent and Lashley is not, that probably means Lashley picks up the win here, but I'm holding out hope that he doesn't.

    Winner: Samoa Joe

    Mike Hammerlock: I used to dread Lashley matches when he was in WWE. He's not an appreciably better worker these days, but he's past the preposterous booking stage of his career. We now know he's not made of titanium. Joe may be able to carry him to a good, stiff match. If Eric Young dispatches MVP and Lashley wins this, then Lashley becomes the nominal top contender. Why not? At least it freshens up the TNA title scene.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Dylan Diot: This should be interesting as this match can go in two different ways. It could be a mat based, submission style clinic or it can be a brawl. Either way, it should be a decent, possibly even good match. Lashley gets the win since I figure he'll be in the title picture going forward.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Alex Crowder: I think this match could surprise people. Lashley can put on a good match with the right opponent. Samoa Joe even at his most unmotivated happens to be the right opponent. I expect an entertaining hard-hitting match between these two. If these two get even a little time this should be a good match. I would also expect another victory for MVP's faction. They need to win these first few matches to stay strong.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Mike Chin: I foresee TNA progressing to a Lashley-Young singles program after Slammiversary. As I wrote about Aries-King, the new stipulation that the winner gets into the main event complicates things, but I see TNA keeping Lashley strong in 1:1 action to set him up for the main event.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Dino Zee: There's the result they should do to help the story, and the result they need to do in order to rebuild a once great hero. This should be a nice, hard hitting affair, and if my King prediction is correct, then there'll be some desperation on the TNA Do Gooders side of things to at least score one big win over MVP's buddies. I think a Lashley win is absolutely the right way to go, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Joe (by hook or by crook) pull this out. Lashley, in my opinion, should be the next contender for the heavyweight title, so a win over Joe here should help in that cause. Unless he likes being the Scott Steiner to MVP's Jeff Jarrett in this TNA version of the New Blood. I don't think he does.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley

    Jericho Ricardi: Samoa Joe, or "SMOEJOE" as Scott Steiner calls him, could seriously use a win here. However, I suspect that MVP was going to originally win the main event, and if they're continuing with the same plan... Lashley is the best choice. That said, I'd like to see this end in a draw somehow, with both guys going to the main event to make it a four-way. It'd enable some cool match dynamics like EY and Joe teaming up against King and Lashley, and then Samoa Joe could instantly position himself as a top challenger to new champion Lashley since they fought to a draw on the PPV. Joe can't take a loss as well as Aries can at this point, nor does Lashley need a win as much as King does. More likely than not, though, this will be a cut and dry affair, with Lashley winning and advancing.

    Winner: Bobby Lashley, the poor man's Monty Brown





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    James Storm vs. Mr. Anderson

    Michael Weyer: Is Storm a heel or face now? I have trouble remembering some days. Anderson is just a guy in the mix now, no real push and doesn't bring anything to the table worthwhile. I hope a good match but still not too much to get excited about and hopefully we get more focus on Storm, a guy who can get fans going well if given the right stuff.

    Winner: James Storm

    Justin Watry: It just saddens me to see where James Storm is these days. Great, great, great talent. I still fondly look back at his 2011/2012 build to the TNA Title. Oh, it was going to be glorious. Then I forget this was TNA! Give him the belt for a week, and instead of paying it off at a later date, pull the SWERVE! Yeah, who cares about winning in your hometown at a big PPV setting? You have to surprise people, duh. Then when you get the chance to redeem yourself, TNA changes course before Bound for Glory and has not looked back since. Now James Storm sits facing Mr. Anderson. Too bad. The sad thing is I wrote about it then and saw it all coming. Anderson does nothing for me in 2014. Storm has the talent to jump to WWE and make the big bucks. Same with Bobby Roode (who is not advertised for the card due to some ridiculous story line of keeping your big names off television because that makes sense). Just for that, he is my pick.

    Winner: James Storm

    Wyatt Beougher: So the build up to this match is that Anderson and Storm had a match which Storm won with his version of Muta's mist, then they had a drinking contest where Anderson was drinking NA beer and he beat storm up afterwards, and then he did a bad impression of Storm backstage with his new BFF Christy Hemme? Right, so who's the heel and who's the face in this one? Their five-minute match from a couple of weeks ago wasn't awful, and this one should be a fairly decent time waster in the middle of the card. I don't think we're going to get anything revolutionary, but it shouldn't be outright bad, either, and for a midcard match on a TNA PPV, that's about all you can ask for.

    Winner: Anderson....ANDERSON.

    Mike Hammerlock: Say what you will about TNA, but this is an actual midcard feud. Two guys develop a beef with each other and the pummeling ensues. It had a definitive start and a logical build. The WWE should try it sometime. Storm and Anderson also form an interesting pair. Both are tweeners, able to work the face or heel side of the street with relative ease. That creates a lot of possibilities in terms of where they can go with this feud. The ultimate result after months of tearing each other apart could be them forming a tag team. Seriously, they'd kick the TNA tag division up two notches. Anyway, Storm spent his entire previous feud (with Gunner) losing. Time to toss the Cowboy a bone.

    Winner: James Storm

    Dylan Diot: This should end up being a solid match. My hope is finally they start moving Storm in the direction of the world title picture because that's where be belongs, so I'll give him the nod here to give him some momentum.

    Winner: James Storm

    Alex Crowder: I kind of like this feud. My only issue is that it makes James Storm seem like the good guy at some points. Mr. Anderson is the kind of character that always appears villainous even when he's a face. Either way, the feud is pretty simple but gets the point across. I think these two will have a subpar to good match depending on their chemistry. I presume James Storm will win, so the feud can continue. Plus, Mr. Anderson got a victory at the last PPV.

    Winner: Mr. Anderson

    Mike Chin: It could be either man's match. Conventional wisdom would see Storm getting his win back, but I'm giving Anderson the win to help balance what I predict to otherwise be a card heavy on heel victories.

    Winner: Mr. Anderson

    Dino Zee: While I absolutely hated their encounter in the bar a couple weeks back, for the most part, this feud has been a fun one, and one that I personally was looking forward to. Mr. Anderson's riffing on Storm last week "I LIKE BEER!" was just about what I've waited for every other Storm opponent to say to him, and Storm still managed to steer this back into a serious direction. Both of these guys can easily still go, though it doesn't look like either will be enjoying a trip back to the top of the mountain any time soon. Anderson's been on a roll these last few months, while Storm's been up and down. I'm probably dead wrong, but I'ma roll with the Cowboy.

    Winner: James Storm

    Jericho Ricardi: Looking forward to this feud being mercifully over. James Storm is sorta treading water right now, with Anderson floundering since he finished off the Aces and Eights. Both need a win pretty badly, Storm more so. The question is.... where the hell is Bobby Roode?

    Winner: James Storm





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    Willow w/Abyss and Abyss vs. Magnus w/Bram

    Michael Weyer: This is going to be ugly, a lot of hard spots but nothing really gelling, just promises a big mess of guys clashing about. I guess I'll give it to Willow and Abyss, have to keep Hardy happy after all but doesn't look that promising a battle given the guys involved.

    Winners: Willow and Abyss

    Justin Watry: Let me get this story line straight. Magnus is looking for his mean streak from Bram. Yet, just a few weeks before Bram showed up, Magnus was doing similar actions...but then stopped, so he could start again? Okay. Then we have JEFF FREAKIN' HARDY (remember him headlining WWE in 2009?) dressed up as a clown screaming with an umbrella named Willow. Yep, your top moneymaker is not even using his name value nor showing his face on screen. Way to capitalize on that! Whoever gave him creative freedom needs to take it back. Really, I have no idea who wins and like the rest of this card, it truly does not matter.

    Winner: Magnus

    Wyatt Beougher: So Magnus goes from awesomely smarmy suck-up corporate champion back to generically bland angry guy, and I'm supposed to be happy about this? That'd be like taking super-happy lawyer-turned-wrestler Joseph Park and turning him back into generic monster heel Abyss...wait, they did that too? *sigh* I promise I'm not trying to be negative, but it just saddens me whenever TNA takes something that they're actually doing right and then scuttles it in favor of stuff they've already done before that either didn't work (Magnus) or was pretty well played out (Abyss). In spite of that, I'm willing to give this match a pass, although I'd prefer it was still a tag match, just because I'm a sucker for tag team wrestling. Jeff Hardy and suit-wearing Magnus had a pretty decent little cage match back in December (when Magnus won the title), so I'm hoping that chemistry carries over here with Willow and angry beating-stuff-up Magnus. When I thought this was going to be a tag team match, I figured it'd turn into one of those ECW-style brawls around the ringside area, which honestly would've made my day. Now that it's just one-on-one with a guy in each wrestler's corner, I think it's probably going to end up being a cluster, but it could still be a fun cluster. I'm holding out hope.

    Winner: Magnus

    Mike Hammerlock: Why not just make this a tag team match? The leading flaw with this card is a lack of variety. They fixed that a bit this week with the six-man ladder match for the X Division crown and putting the TNA title match inside a steel cage. Still, no need to stash perfectly good wrestlers in the corner when we all know they're going to get involved. As for the match itself, Magnus has been a whole lot more interesting since Bram's arrival than during his dreadful title run. Six months ago, I'd have had trouble believing Magnus could beat a tree. Now I do.

    Winner: Magnus

    Dylan Diot: Man, Magnus' stock has fallen real quick. Willow gets the win here so they can try to continue to get this stupid gimmick over.

    Winner: Willow

    Alex Crowder: I love how this match making relates to the history between Abyss and Magnus. I find the Bram story line to be a little different but it seems to be working for now. Magnus has to win to continue the story I would think. Willow has really done little to nothing since becoming Willow. Willow could win with Abyss interference to set up a Magnus and Abyss match down the line. Either way, this match appears to be forgettable and I expect a Magnus victory.

    Winner: Magnus

    Dino Zee: I have a confession: I like Willow. I can't believe it's happened, and I kinda want to punch myself in the face, but damn it, I like it. It's absolutely in the "so bad it's good" territory, but I still am entertained when Willow's on screen. I still don't get why this is the match, when it's Bram who started all of this misery for Willow in his search for the "old Magnus." Whatever, as this will probably be the better match anyways. Still, it's TNA, and it's Jeff Hardy wrestling. This one's easy.

    Winner: Willow

    Jericho Ricardi: I fully expect this to be a hardcore, violent brawl. Abyss is known for that, Bram professes his love for it, Willow is supposed to be Jeff Hardy's "violent side", and Magnus is coming around to Bram's brutal tutelage. Let this spill all over the arena, with weapons coming into play and announcer tables being sacrificed on the altar of extreme. Bram and Magnus emerging victorious - barely - while both wearing crimson masks... that would do more for Magnus than his entire world title reign did and it'd instantly turn Bram into a badass. That said, I expect this'll just be a regular match and not be given much time, after which I'll continue to not care too much about Bram and Magnus. Prove me wrong, make it exciting.

    Winner: Magnus




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    X-Division Title Ladder Match: Sanada © vs. Manik vs. Tigre Uno vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards

    Michael Weyer: So TNA acknowledges how bad the tag division is by having the champs take part in another "throw all the X guys we have into one match" formula. And a ladder match? The company has forgotten how Ultimate X is so much better than that? Well, it should be a fair battle nonetheless as these guys go at it hard, plenty of wild spots and something to fire up the crowd. With reports of Sanda leaving soon, I'll pick Crazy Steve. Yes, sounds nuts for a new guy to win it right out but then, it's TNA and sure to go for some wild logic here.

    Winner and NEW X Division Champion: Crazzy Steve

    Justin Watry: Of course, there would be a last minute ladder match added to the card. Sure, why not? Also, just to make sure this is TNA, it is the 567,375th thrown together X-Division Title match that makes no sense and had zero build up whatsoever. Yep, way to learn from those mistakes after a decade. Just to top it off, the tag team champions are in there. Nice to know Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards were telling the truth with that little "gem" of a match they had teased for Slammiversary. Or they had no idea what was going, just as TNA had no idea what was going on despite it being LESS THAN A WEEK BEFORE ONE OF YOUR "BIG" PAY_PRE_VIEW EVENTS! As for the actual match, let me play the process of elimination. Keep in mind the annual mess that is Option C is coming up soon. Manik has hardly been seen in six months, so he is out. Crazy Steve? No use in even commenting. Edwards and Richards are tag champs, so they should not be in solo action. That leaves Sanada, who is rumored to be leaving soon...and Tigre Uno who just got crushed in two minutes by somebody named Bram. Yep, welcome to the X-Division! I will pick Sanada but have no faith in that prediction.

    Winner: Sanada

    Wyatt Beougher: Can't a clown get any respect? It's CrazZy Steve! Seriously though, if this match isn't match of the night, then either something went horribly wrong for TNA, or something went amazingly right for them. This match should be the perfect highlight for the X Division, and while I wish they'd done something with the tag belts, putting the Wolves in this kind of spot fest match is actually perfect to hide their flaws (namely, an utter and complete inability/unwillingness to sell for any length of time) while maximizing their assets (hard-hitting style and speed). Then you've got the current X Champ, Sanada, and his most recent rival, Tigre Uno, along with the aforementioned clown and the former X Division champion Manik. It's definitely not the most star-studded multi-man X Division title match TNA has ever put on, but I'll forgive them for that because it should be good. But I implore you, powers that be at TNA, take a page from WCW's book and let these guys go out there and have fun for 15-30 minutes. Pick a winner and let them figure out how to get there. Your product will be better for it.

    Winner and STILL TNA X Division Champion: Sanada

    Mike Hammerlock: Hmmm, a six-man ladder match. What a novel concept at this time of year. Yeah, this is a craven attempt to get people to watch a Money in the Bank type match two weeks before Money in the Bank. Something like a build would have been nice. This match has been hastily assembled and has all the earmarks of a spot fest. I'm under the perhaps mistaken assumption TNA aims to do something with Sanada. This would not be that something.

    Winner: Sanada

    Dylan Diot: Remember the days when X-Division matches got build and were almost as big as the world title matches? Those were the days. Anyway, these guys will have their working boots on, hit some crazy spots, and probably have the best match on the card. I'll take Crazy Steve since the Menagerie gimmick is all the rage these days in TNA.

    Winner: Crazzy Steve

    Alex Crowder: I know Sanada is the safe pic but his time is coming to a close. Sanada is going to go back to Japan probably within the next few months. They could keep the title on Sanada until then, but why not have him lose it a month or two early and feud with the new champion? This should be a really fun match with innovative spots. I'm not sure how good Crazy Steve is but I don't hate his addition to the match. The Wolves seem to have equally good chemistry as opponents. Tigre Uno has not been used to his potential, so hopefully he shines more in this match. I would think he is the next champion after Sanada. Sanada will be his usual self as well Manik.

    Winner: Tigre Uno

    Mike Chin: Call me crazzy, but I think TNA has something with The Menagerie, and I see them getting some momentum going by picking up gold here.

    Winner: Crazzy Steve

    Dino Zee: A TNA staple, and I don't mean this sarcastically at all, the multi-man X Division title match will be held in a ladder match format this year, and the names involved have me stoked. I don't see Steve getting the win. I hate Davey Richards and will never pick him for anything. Honestly, this feels like a nice way to get Sanada another win while giving everyone else something to do on the pay per view. Seriously, where the hell has Manik been leading up to this? All griping about the participants aside, this match should absolutely deliver the usual spot fest we expect from these guys, and what more could you really ask for?

    Winner: And STILL X Division Champion, Sanada

    Jericho Ricardi: Glad they could throw this together at the last minute. With Destination-X coming up in the very near future, I expect this match will give us our #1 contender for that show. None of these guys seem like they could be legitimate contenders to face the world champion (who I'm expecting to be Lashley). On one hand, it would be great to see Sanada continue his unlikely championship reign, surviving five of TNA's top cruiserweights. On the other hand, I wonder if they might run an American Wolves storyline with Davey Richards winning, challenging for the world title, failing, then watching Eddie Edwards succeed where he failed before ultimately challenging E-Squared for the world title at BFG. Somehow, I doubt they'll go that route. Neither guy has really been built up sufficiently on the TNA stage. Also, Great Muta is being advertised for the NYC shows, and I presume it's to give Sanada a pep talk and/or be in his corner for his world title challenge. Unfortunately, he won't win. Someone had to finally cash in the X-Division title and not succeed, and that someone is Sanada.

    Winner: Sanada





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    Knockouts Title Match: Angelina Love © vs. Gail Kim

    Michael Weyer: It still makes me sad to see how badly the Knockouts have fallen. The once full division now just the same gals fighting it out week after week and the best for the PPV is Gail again challenging for the belt. She and Angelina work well together so it should be a good match but I predict rather short and probably not time for a change just yet. Just wish we'd see something a bit different soon, past time the ladies in TNA got a bit more blood in the mix.

    Winner and STILL Knockouts Champion: Angelina Love

    Justin Watry: I do not see this on the official website listing but whatever. The Knockouts, in years past, have had the best television ratings and best programs. In 2014? Not so much. Same people doing the same stuff. I interviewed Brittany recently - give her more to do worthwhile. Anything but Beautiful People and Gail Kim feuding. This is 2014, right?

    Winner: Angelina Love

    Wyatt Beougher: I can only imagine that this is going to end up as some kind of overbooked mess featuring Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, and Brittany (with Brittany most likely "joining" the Beautiful People), but hopefully until that point, Angelina and Gail are allowed to put on the match that they're absolutely capable of putting on. And hey, I could be wrong - this could feature minimal involvement from Sky and a clean win from either Love or Kim, but whatever the case, as long as the first 7-10 minutes are good, I'll be happy.

    Winner and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Angelina Love

    Mike Hammerlock: Angelina Love makes me want to claw my eyes out, for a number of reasons. In a fair and just world Gail Kim wins this match and TNA once again gets to brag it's got the best female wrestler in the business as its Knockouts champ. Doubt that's going to happen.

    Winner: Angelina Love

    Dylan Diot: I have no interest in what the Knockouts are doing and I'm not a fan of Angelina Love as a wrestler. She'll get the win since the focus is on the Beautiful People right now.

    Winner: Angelina Love

    Alex Crowder: Gail Kim is still one of the best women workers in the world whether people still realize it or not. This alone will make the match better to a point. The Beautiful People for better or worse are a great act that stays perpetually over. Even though everyone would probably be okay with a Gail Kim victory . . . I don't see it happening. I think the story is setting up for a Velvet betrayal or Brittany victory. That means Gail Kim falls short for now allowing Angelina to retain.

    Winner: Angelina Love

    Mike Chin: The Beautiful People are over and I expect it will take fresher storyline or star to relieve Love of the Knockouts strap.

    Winner: Angelina Love

    Dino Zee: The Bird's inexplicable run at the top continues. Here's hoping Gail Kim can make the idea of another Angelina win Finish: Impossible. Get it? Cause she's married to... never mind. Let's go Gail - grill the Bird!

    Winner: And NEW Knockouts Champion, Gail Kim

    Jericho Ricardi: Gail Kim is the Daniel Bryan of women's wrestling, and can get a great match out of anybody. That said, I don't see this Angelina reign going anywhere. I'm more interested in the Madison/Brittany storyline at this point.

    Winner: Let's Fighting Love





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    Texas Death Match: EC3 vs. Bully Ray

    Michael Weyer: Yes, once more, we're asked to buy EC3 as a serious worker and pushed to major status. The match should be good as Bully excels at no-holds-barred battles and a wild brawl to be had but nothing much else to it. I'm going to go with the idea of Dixie interfering to let Ethan win but ends up going through a table since of course, we all want more Dixie on our screens. Fairly promising but not that much hope.

    Winner: EC3

    Justin Watry: Are we still supposed to care about Ethan Carter III and his undefeated streak? Is that still a thing? He lost in the First Blood match on Impact last week, so...? Maybe I should ask Crimson how "over" winning streaks are in TNA these days. They always get such a great payoff! While I think Bully Ray gets the win here, Dixie Carter will surely be at ringside (for whatever reason). She interferes and helps EC3 get the victory. Then her dream can come true, and she can go through a table still trying to "play wrestler," which is Reason #34,672 Dixie Carter should not be on TV, which I thought was the point of Lockdown. Yet, here was are. Dixie wants to "play wrestler," and nobody is going to tell her otherwise.

    Winner: EC3

    Wyatt Beougher: I'm actually really looking forward to this. The former Derrick Bateman has been one of the highlights of TNA every time that he's been on screen since his debut, and Bully Ray is still masterful at this type of match. I don't expect this to be a fast-paced affair, as I think Bully Ray is going to work a more traditional Southern brawl style, where everything he does is deliberate and intended to hurt the scion of the Carter family. And, because it's a Bully Ray match, expect there to be at least one table involved, which absolutely isn't a bad thing. In the end, I think ECIII picks up the win with a little help from his aunt and/or Rockstar Spud.

    Winner: Ethan Carter III

    Mike Hammerlock: Why doesn't anybody ever have a Vermont Death Match or a Wisconsin Death Match? In either case, it would involve copious amounts of cheese. Bully Ray is now working the face side of being a loudmouth misogynist. Who doesn't love that? Personally I'd like EC3 to squash him like a cockroach. A win here would mint Carter as big-time contender. It's what I would do, but I'm guessing TNA goes the other direction. Bully Ray knows matches are won and lost backstage.

    Winner: Bully Ray

    Dylan Diot: If they break out the gimmicks and turn up the violence, this could be really good. My theory is EC3 gets the win but after the match, Bully finally gets his revenge and Dixie gets her just deserts. That's what should happen, but with TNA you never know.

    Winner: EC3

    Alex Crowder: This is tough to predict because EC3 has already won so many matches and I know eventually he'll lose a match. Bully Ray winning could still continue the feud and make it more personal if booked correctly. I find this match difficult to predict but will go with an EC3 victory. EC3 has been booked incredibly strong, so TNA might as well continue this. EC3 has surprised me with his act even though I liked Derrick Bateman on NXT. EC3 may gain the victory cheaply. Regardless, EC3 will add another notch to his belt.

    Winner: EC3

    Mike Chin: TNA seems to be intent on gradually building EC3 as one of its biggest stars. This match has the potential to make a statement--and the Texas Death rules also allow Bully Ray all sorts of ways to save face without winning the match.

    Winner: EC3

    Dino Zee: Well, according to the "next week" spoilers that TNA runs now because they like to innovate new ways to piss off the fans, I'm assuming EC3 wins this, since Bully Ray calls him out to another match. That's a bummer, because I assumed the Death Match was the perfect way for EC3 to lose without being pinned or made to submit. I guess, really, that could still be the plan, but EC3 escapes from being put through the table, leading to the call out. Spoiling your own show: always the right call. I'll pick MY BOY to take the biggest win of his TNA run thus far.

    Winner: Ethan Carter III

    Jericho Ricardi: This should be another brutal affair. I'm wondering why the winner of this match won't be added to the main event, though. Seems like both guys figure as much into the main event storyline as the other guys on their respective sides of the battle lines. In any case, I expect Bully Ray to do everything in his power to make EC3 here, and EC3 to barely emerge victor. Or in this case, "victor", as he finds himself shaken up and battle-scarred as he limps out of the ring.

    Winner: EC3




     photo slammaineventtt_zps8c662a52.jpg

    TNA World Title Steel Cage Match: Eric Young © vs. (winner of Austin Aries vs. Kenny King) vs. (winner of Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley)

    Dylan Diot: So I have Eric Young vs. Kenny King vs. Bobby Lashley for the title. Young will probably spend the majority of the match taking a two on one beating, MVP will interfere, Joe and Aries will help out Young, and Young will overcome the odds to retain the title.

    Winner: Eric Young

    Alex Crowder: I was really looking forward to this match and sadly MVP's injury derailed it. Eric Young has been the best-booked champion of the big leagues and that includes even NJPW for me. Eric Young has played the fighting champion better than most. MVP has played the snobby boss in a way that outshines the Authority. If this match happened as advertised I'm not sure who I would have picked. As it stands, Lashley may be a good fill-in after beating Samoa Joe earlier on the PPV(with Lashley having a victory over Eric Young on Impact) and I think Austin Aries will be his other opponent. I wouldn't rule out both Lashley and King winning to stack the odds, but I don't see that happening here. The fans want to see Eric Young wrestle, so making a new match was a good idea. Eric Young should continue his winning ways as the everyday man's champion by defeating both opponents. On a side-note the Von Erich boys will probably beat the Bro-mans if they do compete on the card.

    Winner: Eric Young

    Mike Chin: TNA found itself in a rough spot with MVP's injury, so I'm ready to excuse the last minute re-booking of the main event. That said, it's hard to expect a title change when the match was only decided on in the last few days, and only announced two days before the PPV (unless TNA books a title change specifically to surprise people). I see Eric Young as the underdog against Lashley and King, only to steal the lucky pin, then suffer a hellacious beatdown in the cage after the match, setting up Lashley for a more proper program with Young moving forward.

    Winner: Eric Young

    Dino Zee: I had zero doubt that Eric Young was going to beat MVP. With plans changing at the last second, I'm going to stick with my initial prediction. Sure, the chance for the giant surprise is always there, but whoever he wrestles, I'm taking Eric Young to keep his belt.

    Winner: And STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion... Eric Young

    Wyatt Beougher: Alright, so I had a whole thing written up for this when it was still slated to be MVP, but then his knee injury proved to be bad enough to merit the change. I think that's probably a good thing, although I kinda wish my hypothetical scenario of MVP debuting "The Souladactyl" Clay Funk as the newest member of his stable would have come true...okay, I don't really, and I have to commend TNA on taking a bad situation and actually making a really smart decision regarding this main event. Yes, losing the match they've been building to sucks, but they actually went through with their best option for salvaging it, which isn't something we usually expect TNA to do. I can see this playing out a few ways - either we get an all-TNA guys main event of Young vs. Aries vs. Joe OR we get Young taking on MVP's buddies King and Lashley OR we get some combination of the two. Personally, I think it'll be Young defending his title against one TNA guy and one MLK guy, and I think it'll be Joe and Kenny King, respectively. If that turns out to be the case, this should be an awesome match, as both Young and Joe can work "smaller" and King won't feel at all out of place. Regardless of who's in the match, I expect Young to win.

    Winner and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Eric Young

    Mike Hammerlock: I loved Young's wry comment at the end of Impact about how it may not look like it, but he just won his match against MVP. Nice delivery. I've been very impressed by Young as champion. The reality is no one's going to make TNA an overnight sensation. Yet Young has put on consistently good matches and given TNA fans someone to get behind. He's been a breath of fresh air, which has been something TNA desperately needed. With MVP dropping out of the main event it seems almost assured that King and Lashley are making it to the final showdown. That would continue the storyline they've established. Now, instead of the steel cage keeping out King and Lashley, it will lock them in. Ah, sweet irony. Still doesn't matter, because Eric Young is an A+ player and he will prevail over seemingly impossible odds.

    Winner: Eric Young

    Jericho Ricardi: This is definitely the hardest show I've had to predict in a long time. For the most part, all of the matches on this show are interwoven to the extent that if you get one prediction wrong, they all kinda fall apart. I'm expecting this to be EY vs. King vs. Lashley, with EY fighting valiantly against impossible odds before ultimately falling. The question is, will there be a schism between King and Lashley over the title?

    Winner: Bobby Lashley




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