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Countdown to TNA Slammiversary
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff





A lot can happen over five years, as TNA has demonstrated. You can change where you are watched, where you call "home" and how you present your product. You can also change your affiliation, which is what the company does tonight, as a new trail is blazed, with TNA presenting its first-ever non-NWA-affiliated PPV.

No matter what way you slice the cake (and hopefully don't plunge Jim Cornette's face into it), TNA celebrates five years tonight at Slammiversary. They've gone from a Tennessee-based, PPV-only brand to an Orlando-housed, cable TV-based, touring company with a six-sided ring and their own championships. As we look forward to tonight's action, we at SLAM! also look back at the last five years, as your favourite writers name their favourite match in the history of TNA.

 
 
MAIN EVENT: TNA HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (KING OF THE MOUNTAIN)

Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle vs. TBD
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Because it's Nashville, I would normally say that Jeff Jarrett (assuming he's the last guy), would have the home field advantage. But then again, I can see them trying to swerve everyone who expects that and going with Christian Cage. Nah... it's Jarrett.

Matt Mackinder

If I was booking this, Samoa Joe gets the TNA championship here. Isn’t it time and isn’t it the perfect event to put the strap on him? You’re darn right it is! It’s not the right time for Kurt Angle (yet) and Christian Cage, though thoroughly entertaining, needs to step aside. A.J. Styles will make this match more dynamic, but in the end, it’s Samoa Joe’s time to shine.

Jon Waldman

Unless TNA has signed someone new (Rob Van Dam) to take the mystery spot, assume that Jeff Jarrett comes into the match. If that happens, then Jarrett gets the belt as he continues to chase down HHH for the title record. If it's not Jarrett, I'm assuming a blast from the past, which I would like to be Ken Shamrock, given that he was the first TNA champ. If that happens, there is serious money in Shamrock vs. Angle to be made. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe gets the belt.

Greg Oliver

With no Jeff Jarrett in the match, there's no favourite. I think it's most likely that Kurt Angle emerges with the belt.


TNA TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH

Team 3D vs. The Steiner Brothers


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

With Scott Steiner reportedly on the DL, it's doubtful this will go on. Either way, no matter who they face, Team 3-D keep the belts.

Matt Mackinder

This will still be a top-notch match even though Big Poppa Pump got injured down in Puerto Rico. Team 3D keeps the titles here in a match that could very well be the dark horse. Rick Steiner will get a few pops, but gets popped by the Dudleyz as Ray and D-Von retain.

Jon Waldman

I love how the whole wrestling community is buying into Scott Steiner's injury in Puerto Rico. It wasn't THAT long ago that Pat Patterson went to South America and won an Intercontinental Title tournament, after all (okay, maybe it was more than a few years back, but still...). I'm betting this is a Russo swerve and Big Poppa Pump is okay (or at least I can hope). I'm betting the Steiners win, one way or another tonight, so they can lay claim to having won a trifecta of tag belts and be on par with the Road Warriors.

Greg Oliver

With Scott Steiner's throat surgery, it's a surprise that TNA hasn't readjusted this match. I could see Scott getting knocked out early, or just being at ringside, but any participation in the actual bout would be foolish. Without Scott, Rick goes down to defeat, furthering this feud until the next PPV.


  TNA X-DIVISON TITLE MATCH

Jay Lethal vs. Chris Sabin
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

I think the Black Machismo novelty is wearing off on fans, so they'd better do something with Lethal soon. I think this is the night he gets the gold, to keep the character fresh for a little while longer.

Matt Mackinder

Lethal is gold with his “Macho Man” gimmick. It freaking rules. But is the 21 year-old ready for a title run? All signs point to yes (he’s already beaten Sabin in a non-title match) and that run starts here and continues with a sweet feud that will culminate at Bound For Glory.

Jon Waldman

I seem to be in the minority when it comes to "Black Machismo". Wrestlers who imitate others are good for a one-off laugh (Goldust, Stevie Richards etc.), but just don't have staying power. I'm assuming, nonetheless, that Lethal goes over here, but I hope logic prevails and Mr. Sabin keeps his strap.

Greg Oliver

Lethal has been among the most entertaining things on TNA TV, and is truly a star on the rise. Should be a real barnburner of a match, and Lethal takes it to win the title.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

Mr. Backlund vs. Alex Shelley - It should be interesting to see if Backlund can still go. He wins.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode -
Time to put this to bed once and for all. Young finally gives Roode his comeuppance.
VKM vs. Damaja/Basham -
The Bashams should win - otherwise, what was the point of their coming in?

Matt Mackinder

Mr. Backlund vs. Alex Shelley - Out with the (very) old, in with the new. Shelley takes it.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode -
This feud has gone on long enough – Roode ends it decisively.
VKM vs. Damaja/Basham -
Hemme is the only reason to watch this match and her team takes the victory.
Frank Wycheck/Jerry Lynn vs. James Storm/Ron Killings - Wycheck and Lynn go over here with possible interference from “Wildcat” Chris Harris.
Sting vs. Christopher Daniels - I like Daniels' new gimmick here and he somehow pins the Stinger.
Chris Harris/Rhino vs. LAX
- Being the LAX mark that I am, I gotta go with Konnan's boys here.


Jon Waldman

Mr. Backlund vs. Alex Shelley - Shelley either wins and wins big here, or is off to WWE.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode -
Roode takes this one easily.
VKM vs. Damaja/Basham -
Do I smell a burning limo? I'm guessing that there's a few shots at WWE in this match, as the Basham Brothers take it.
Frank Wycheck/Jerry Lynn vs. James Storm/Ron Killings - Wycheck wins for his crew.
Sting vs. Christopher Daniels - Fallen Angel soars to victory.
Chris Harris/Rhino vs. LAX
- LAX needs the win here.

Greg Oliver

Mr. Backlund vs. Alex Shelley - A throwaway comedy match, sure, but Mr. Backlund will win in a throwback.
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode -
If Roode ever gets up the roster, he'll look back at this as a turning point. Roode wins.
VKM vs. Damaja/Basham -
Will Hemme ever get her revenge on VKM? Does anyone care? Damaja & Bashman win.
Frank Wycheck/Jerry Lynn vs. James Storm/Ron Killings - This is a no-brainer. The former Tennessee Titan and Lynn take it.


 

OUR FAVOURITE TNA MATCHES

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

My favourite match was the Barbed Wire Massacre match at Turning Point 2005 between Sabu and Abyss. This was a great throwback to the classic ECW, and was grisly enough for even the most bloodthirsty of fans like myself.

Matt Mackinder

My favorite match was the tag title cage match at Bound For Glory 2006 where LAX defeated A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels. There was a certain buzz about the match and the action itself had the crowd getting into the “This is awesome” chants early on. Styles’ leap from the top of the cage onto Hernandez was epic. The match was one I could watch over and over. Of course, nothing beats seeing it in person, which I had the privilege of doing that particular evening in Plymouth, Mich.

Jon Waldman

I have to go back to the first match I ever saw from TNA here. It was a Four-Way Dance between Kid Romeo, Jason Cross, Paul London and CM Punk. This is what made me watch TNA - exciting X Division battles. Now, with TNA virtually flushing the crew down the toilet and relegating a lot of it to sideshow appeal (thanks Big Sexy), I just don't enjoy it as much. Plus, this was the bout that got me interested in seeing how far Punk can go. TNA really lost a diamond in the rough here, as CM is definitely the next big thing in wrestling.

Greg Oliver

Rather than a match, the best moment was when Raven had his head shaved by "Father" James Mitchell. Besides the fact that it was a good build with a surprise payoff, the actual shearing was gruesome, as Mitchell used sheep shears and had them backwards so that Raven's scalp almost came off!

SLAMMIVERSARY WEEKEND STORIES

  • June 16, 2007: Fans get close at TNA Fan Fest
  • Photo gallery from TNA Fan Fest
  • Photo gallery from TNA Fan Fest - GALLERY 2
  • June 16, 2007: Storm promises a beating for Wycheck
  • June 13, 2007: Dixie Carter reflects on five years of TNA
    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!

    Check out five years worth of memories. Pick up Total Nonstop Action DVDs, action figures, apparel and memorabilia at the SLAM! Store!

    -- compiled by Jon Waldman