Victory Road 2007 Date: July 15, 2007 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Attendance: 900 Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West Well I haven’t done an old TNA show in awhile so let’s do this one. I vaguely remember this show like most TNA stuff from around this time. The main event is X Champion Joe and World Champion Angle vs. Tag Champions Team 3D (who beat AJ and Daniels in a title defense shortly before this since AJ and Daniels aren’t world title contenders but Team 3D clearly are) in the old all belts on the line thing. However, if either Joe or Angle win they get to pick their own partner. Other than that there isn’t much here. Let’s get to it. The tag line is still WE ARE WRESTLING at this point. The opening video is about being world champion so they talk to all of the former champions, plus Joe who hadn’t won it at this point. Angle is also the IWGP champion here so he has two “world” titles. He’s also an incredibly pompous asshole at this point, so some things never change. Tenay says it’s a first time ever thing. I’ll spare you the reasons why that’s wrong because you likely know them. X-Division Gauntlet So what we have here is a ten man match, for the number one contendership to the X-Division Title. However, once all ten men are in, it becomes an Ultimate X match, since I guess a regular gauntlet didn’t work well enough? We start with Daniels and Lethal. Oh ok you can be eliminated if you’re thrown over the top to the floor so it’s not guaranteed to have all ten in the Ultimate X part. There are one minute intervals. Lethal is still Black Machismo at this point. He’s the early to mid 90s version here so it’s FAR more bearable. Third is Puma who is a masked Mexican guy. He beats up Lethal for awhile while Daniels recovers from the macho beating he got. Fourth is Homicide who I just watched on an ROH show. Puma is down now as I guess they can’t have that many people going at once because of the X-Division convention of 1987 in Uzbekistan. Sonjay Dutt is fifth as we’re halfway done. Everyone more or less cleans house for a bit once they come in. Petey Williams is next and he, say it with me, cleans house. No one has been eliminated yet. The Canadian Destroyer is blocked twice because we can’t let him use energy and hurt anyone right? He hits it on Puma and throws him out but gets thrown out himself. Shark Boy is 7th I believe. Elix Skipper is up now and nothing of note happens. He has a bad hand apparently. Kaz is 9th. Senshi, Low Ki that is, is last. So now we immediately go to Ultimate X and there are 8 men in it. Let the crashing begin. We get a big game of chicken on the X which is always fun. It’s the metal stuff instead of the ropes this time. With Daniels hanging upside down and facing the corner, Kaz jumps at him and hooks him in a diving cutter. Looked awesome and the fans agree. There’s no real flow here so all I can really do is list spots. It’s kind of like MITB in that sense. We get a quadruple suplex as Daniels suplexes Lethal who suplexes Homicide who suplexes Dutt. It looked great but in reality it’s kind of idiotic but whatever. And now we have Kaz and Skipper on the catwalk WAY above the ring. This is freaking terrifying to me and pure overkill but it’s TNA so it’s expected. So of course they stand up and punch because that’s smart right? Thankfully they go down a bit so that they’re hanging there and the drop is manageable. Lethal and Daniels get taken down and Skipper does the same. Kaz hits the Flux Capacitor on Homicide and Lethal goes up. Skipper and Senshi stop him as Daniels gets the X for the win. They reform XXX and few care. They were a stable in the early days of TNA and have meant little since. Do you remember them? I think that proves my point. Rating: D+. The problem is that the gauntlet part is just not needed here, period. You chop off two people and give the other 8 minutes or so to the Ultimate X part and it goes FAR higher. I know it’s just a spot fest but that’s fine. If that’s the case, why have the 8 minutes of the gauntlet? It just makes no sense but it’s TNA so there you are. Good choice for an opener though. Team 3D is in the back and D-Von says he’ll win the world title. Bubba says he’ll win the X Title. Oh dear. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? They should be forced to listen to these promos. Joe says he can’t trust Angle but he’ll win anyway. And now we run down the card….which we’ve already paid for….right. This show feels a lot more recent than 07. It’s like there’s no way it’s been that long ago. I have the dates right but it’s still a weird feeling. Voodoo Kin Mafia say they’re ready for Hemme and Lance Hoyt. I’m assuming he had a partner. They also have a new addition to help them tonight. Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Basham/Damaja Ok so I’m betting some translations are needed. Lance Hoyt isn’t wrestling but rather is someone that was brought into the camp of the VKM (more commonly known as the New Age Outlaws with the initials VKM, which are the initials of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon) as a spy for Christy Hemme. Hoyt is more commonly known as Vance Archer and the other two wrestlers were better known as Doug and Danny Basham. Oh and at the moment the Outlaws are known as BG James (Road Dogg) and Kip James (not Road Dogg). They debut Roxxi as the newest member of the Mafia. Now SHE was zombie hot. Christy was just an evil hot **** at this point. Sweet damn Christy looks great with her hair up and in a black dress. I totally do not remember the Bashams being in TNA. Hemme keeps making out with Hoyt for some reason. Christy and Hoyt come into the ring and we get the Knockouts showdown before they were called Knockouts. Hoyt of course jumps Road Dogg and the heels take over in standard fashion. The fans are bored with the match. That’s odd as it’s not that bad. It’s bad mind you, but there’s nothing here that is standing out as terrible. Not Road Dogg hits a Jackhammer for two. With the referee talking to Hoyt, Road Dogg pops Damaja with a chair so that not Road Dogg can get the pin. Road Dogg beats up Hoyt afterwards. Roxxi hits a Dominator on Christy. Rating: D. Just…why? Why is this on PPV? I get that it was a feud etc but this just wasn’t interesting at all. I know TNA is bad about thinking matches have potential or whatever but they thought this was good? This is a great example of people complaining about TNA taking WWE rejects. Why in the world would you bring in the damn Bashams? Not horrible, but just damn uninteresting. Angle is in the back and is asked what he thinks of everyone saying he won’t win. Angle says he’s great. This is similar to what Swagger has been doing lately but just a bit different. We go to a sit-down interview from Impact with Rhyno. When he was a kid he saw his father be an alcoholic, so apparently he was one too. Storm poured beer on him and it made him snap. Yes, they went the relapse route eventually. James Storm vs. Rhyno We have to put up with Jackie here too. Who in the world ever told her she had a place in wrestling? She couldn’t fight, she wasn’t hot, she couldn’t talk, no one cared about her, but she kept getting a job. Thankfully she gets thrown out to start the match. We go into the crowd for more brawling as I don’t even know if the bell has rung yet. They haven’t been in the ring yet. Ah there we go. And now we get a bell. So all that was just extra fun time? Ok then. Storm takes over and this just isn’t that interesting. That’s the best way to put this whole show: who cares? The wrestling is ok at best but so much of this is just to set up later stuff. Also, who cares about these two? It’s a serious angle and everything, but it’s Rhyno against James Storm. Why should I care? Rhyno’s neck might be hurt. Also, can we stop the overhead cam? It’s such a quick change that it’s a bit disorienting. And there goes the referee. Rhyno goes for a Gore and runs into a beer bottle for the pin. Post match Storm ties Rhyno to the middle rope and waves Jackie down with a beer. Tenay saying Storm is going too far over the line amuses me. Wouldn’t want to ever cross the line would you? Storm pours beer down his throat. It was much better when Raven did it to Punk in ROH. Yes, they went off this into Rhyno relapsing. Jackie takes pictures for no adequately explained reason. Rating: D+. Again, why in the world should I care? I know it’s an intense angle and everything, but this just wasn’t interesting in the slightest. Storm is overrated. He just is. I have yet to see the greatness everyone says he has in him. Rhyno as a face simply does not work. This just wasn’t an interesting match at all and it wasn’t very good either. Also, why do the same ending again that you did on Impact? We go to the back with Jerry Lynn and his partner for tonight, Bob Backlund. It’s old vs. new here in case you didn’t get that. Lynn can’t call him Bob. Backlund is completely insane and the dichotomy between his good boy image and this here is great. We get a video package of Nash agreeing to help tutor the team that would become known as the Motor City Machine Guns. Seeing Jerry Lynn and Backlund talking about values and seeing Sabin and Shelley come back with Nickelback lyrics is…uh…weird. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Jerry Lynn/Bob Backlund The Guns have Nash with them. This is another of those bizarre angles that only happens in a company like TNA. For a 57 year old guy, Backlund is in great shape. Apparently Backlund was a problem for TNA as he disappeared from his hotel on the morning of the PPV. The reason: he walked the five miles from the hotel to the Impact Zone and left earlier than everyone else. He’s an odd one, but if I can look like that at his age I’ll be happy. It’s weird seeing Sabin just getting out wrestled by Backlund. Both guys tag and we get dueling geriatric/LET’S GO JERRY chants. Shelley does all these flips and twists and Lynn just stands there and watches him until he stops so he can throw a hold on him. That was hilarious. I love when people do that. One of my favorite moments ever was just after Joe debuted he was fighting Puma and Puma went up top for this big flip and Joe just took a step to the side and let him crash. Why over complicate things? This has been more or less ALL old guys so far. Shelley spits water in his face to take over. West declares that you can’t prance. Good to know. Heat grabbing 101 (missed tag) allows more beatings on Lynn. Backlund storms the ring and just beats the hell out of everyone in sight. And then Nash comes in to kick Backlund in the head to set up the AS/CS Rush for the pin on Jerry. Now remember boys and girls, as good as they are, they’re not allowed to win the tag titles. Rating: C-. Entertaining, but again I ask, so what? This put the focus on Nash more than anything else. I just do not get the point in doing this ending other than to protect the old guys and let the new guys say they won. It’s either really basic or really stupid and I’m leaning towards the second given the track record here. Nash would go on to work with Angle and Sting while the Guns did nothing and the old guys were both gone in about a month. Maybe it did make sense but it’s so overly complicated that I don’t want to have to figure it out. Angle is looking for backup for the main event tonight. He offers Lethal a chance to watch his back and Lethal doesn’t think so. Ok to be fair, the Savage voice is about as perfect as anything I’ve ever heard. Angle beats him up. We recap Roode vs. Young. The idea is that Young is ridiculously popular so Robert Roode wants him signed to his organization. Ms. Brooks, who likely has bigger boobs than Trish but half the face (she’s still hot) says that she’ll sleep with him for signing. He signed but won his freedom. Gail Kim helps him and kissed him for no explained reason. Here’s a mixed tag for no reason other than that. Gail Kim/Eric Young vs. Robert Roode/Ms. Brooks Gail is freaking gorgeous. She just is. This feud has been going on for like six months. That was the main criticism of TNA at the time: the angles went on FAR too long. Young gets a kiss on the cheek and wakes up. Young isn’t bad but at the same time he isn’t the star that TNA wants him to be. Young looks good here as goes Gail but at the same time I just don’t see the main event appeal they think he has. Young gets crotched and Gail doesn’t seem to care. Not nice. The problem here is that Brooks isn’t any good in the ring at this point so she does nothing of note at all. Roode hits a spinning Rock Bottom which looks good. The cameraman keeps getting shots of Gail’s ass so I like him. She gets the hot tag but for some reason Brooks gets tagged in too. What is Roode thinking? Young botches the hell out of a DDT on Roode to save Gail from a botched Boston Crab. They go to kind of a comedy segment where Brooks is on the mat and keeps getting moves dropped on her. I use the word comedy in the loosest sense of the word. And then Gail pins her. Roode freaks out and yells at Brooks afterwards. Rating: D+. Same problem all of these matches have had: I don’t care. Gail Kim’s looks and Brooks’ boobs are the only reasons to care here. It just doesn’t matter at all as the feud ended here and it was a total letdown. It just means nothing and no one cared for the most part. I just don’t see the point of any of this, although this at least had a feud behind it that had been going on for a long time. Christian says he’s tired of Chris Harris getting over on his name. He’s a heel here and has Tomko and a blithering idiot of AJ with him. Angle comes in and asks Christian to let him borrow AJ and Tomko. That’s a big negative. Sonjay Dutt comes up asking for donations. Angle of course beats him up. Angle cracks me up here. This character was perfect for him. Angle leaves a dollar as his donation. Then he comes back and takes it back. NICE. Harris (Braden Walker in case you didn’t know that) talks about making AMW with James Storm but wanting to be a singles guy. For no apparent reason he was thrown into the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary and was supposed to be a main event guy even though NO ONE bought it. Apparently he’s been noticed though. Ok then. Christian wants to know who Harris is. I can’t blame him as I’m not sure either. Christian Cage vs. Chris Harris The Instant Classic is a great name. Harris gets no reaction from a TNA crowd. That’s just funny. Harris has handcuffs here for no explained reason. The crowd is of course split. Harris might be more generic than a vanilla ice cream cone put into a white envelope and served with tap water. I mean he’s got NOTHING. They fight on the floor for a bit with Christian in trouble of course. Apparently if Harris wins he thinks he gets another title shot. Oh dear. TNA really needs to stop with the jumping camera angles. They’re driving me insane here. Harris is supposed to be making some big comeback here and it’s actually bearable. Harris hits a high cross body for two. Shame he wasn’t Braden Walker at the time. That guy coming off the top would crush Florida. The Unprettier must be one of the worst setups ever. Cage kicks out of the Unprettier. You read that right. Why do so many people use the spear? It worked for Goldberg and Rhyno and not many others. You know this is actually turning into a decent match. And there goes the referee to end that. Christian hits a sweet frog splash and the referee is already back. Nice…and Dustin Rhodes is here for no explained reason. This is his big return and he was AMW’s tag partner in his last match. Tomko comes down to distract the referee and Rhodes hits Harris in the back of the head with handcuffs so Christian can roll him up for the pin. Rating: C+. This was WAY better than I expected it to be until the ending. Rhodes’ return was just damn awful as these two had a decent match actually. Rhodes and Harris would have two PPV matches against each other before Harris left in January to become Braden Walker. Anyway, this was far better than I expected. We get a video about Sting and Abyss hiding behind a mask or paint. Sting was trying to find the good in Abyss and free him, which is a REALLY long angle that I’ll hopefully not have to get into soon. Sting talks about passing the torch to Abyss. Please just don’t give him any jewelry. AJ Styles/Tomko vs. Abyss/Sting AJ is a great wrestler that is an idiot at this point. That would continue until Sting yelled at him like two years later. They nearly ruined his character by making him something he’s not. Oh sorry was reading my notes for tonight’s show. Here we go: back in 2007 they nearly ruined his character by making him something he’s not. Much better. This “team” comes out separately. Great unity there boys! Sting the Crow being from Venice Beach is amusing as hell to me. Imagine him on the beach like that and you’ll get it. Styles and Abyss start us off and after AJ can’t do much with him, he dives for Tomko and part of my soul dies. To be fair that happens in any Tomko match I watch. Abyss tries to use the Styles Clash. Oh dear. Naturally Abyss works most of the match. That’s likely good as he needs to work some of that damn gut off. Sting comes in and busts out a DDT. WOW. AJ sets for a springboard onto Abyss and Tomko so Sting shoves him off…so that he lands on them anyway. Was there a point to that at all? STING DIVES OFF THE TOP! WOW. Would not have expected that at all. The heels take over for awhile with Sting being the one in trouble. Something tells me this is going to be a longer match. Abyss makes the hot tag and does a bunch of generic big man stuff as West says there are so many things Abyss does that most big men can’t. Tomko taps but AJ has the referee. And there’s a Black Hole Slam on Tomko for the win. That just kind of happened. Odd. Post match James Mitchell comes out and says cryptic stuff that no one cares about. Rating: C+. Match was just your standard big time tag match but that ending was just kind of there. Abyss just hit his finishing move for the pin. There was no drama or build to it or anything. He just hit it. The Abyss/Mitchell feud would go on forever and no one cared at the end. This was decent for what it was though. Now why were they fighting again? We recap the setup for the main event. The idea is simple but whoever you pin you get that title and Angle doesn’t trust Joe. Oh and Team 3D is there too. This is just after the NWA had dropped TNA so these are the first TNA Titles rather than NWA Titles. TNA World Title/X Division Title/Tag Titles: Team 3D vs. Kurt Angle/Samoa Joe And remember, AJ and Daniels had a tag title shot, but we can’t have them as main event guys. Team 3D is FAR more believable as world title contenders. As you likely guessed, this is little more than Angle and Joe trying to one up each other and Team 3D is just in the way. With the simple problem of NO ONE believes they have a chance of winning a singles title, this is rather just about who wins the tag belts. Joe has his Samoan fire breathers and dancers and whatnot. Angle tries to get Serotonin to help him. They laugh at him. He beats them up too. That riser is just awesome. So after about 10 minutes of intros, the match is nothing special at all. TNA fans doing the You Suck chant just isn’t right at all. We get the required Team 3D tension that no one cares about at all. It just doesn’t work. Let it go. Bubba starts to leave and then doesn’t as we desperately search for drama of any kind. Can we get to the end of this please? We all know that the Dudleys are losing here so why pretend otherwise? Angle has disappeared for some reason. Oh ok he just wanted Joe to get beaten up. We hit the required clusterfuck and I just want this show to end. ANGLE HITS THE MOONSAULT! Even Tenay makes jokes about him hitting it. Not really funny but kind of cute. Both singles champions hook ankle locks but Bubba gets out and Angle hits Joe by mistake. 3D on Angle and D-Von gets the cover. And here’s Rick Steiner to break things up. Scott Steiner blasts Bubba with a pipe but Angle breaks it up so he doesn’t not win the tag titles. Angle hits Bubba with the Angle Slam and Joe steals the pin to get the tag belts. Holy pointless run ins Batman! Rating: C+. Again, it’s ok but it’s not like there was ANY drama at all here. They just blew it with Team 3D having the belts here as with AJ/Daniels, who they had a legit chance to put them on 3 days before this. This was ok but it was just about Angle or Joe which made it rather boring and at nearly 20 minutes, just WAY too long. Not a smart nor particularly good main event. An ad for Hard Justice ends it. Overall Rating: D. This show isn’t particularly bad, but it’s just completely uninteresting. Three hours passed and nothing has changed in my mind. I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t interested, I wasn’t happy but overall just nothing of serious note happened. The best match of the night was a match that was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be. That simply can’t be a good sign. This show was indicative of TNA at the time: not a lot of note, and Angle dominates everything. He would win ALL the belts at the next show. What does that tell you? Take a big pass here.