TNA: Victory Road, July 15, 2007
I purchase a TNA pay per view now and then because I am fond of TNA. I like that six sided ring, TNA has brought in fantastic talent and the organization is growing. And, letís be honest, I enjoy watching Jim Cornette on the verge of a weekly nervous breakdown.
X Division Elimination Match
Participants in order of appearance:
Christopher Daniels aka The Fallen Angel, Jay Lethal aka Black Machismo, Puma, Homicide, Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, Shark Boy, Elix Skipper, Kaz, Shenshi
Daniels starts the match before the bell but Lethal give Daniels boxing lessons and tosses Daniels over the side. Daniels lands on the ring apron and Puma enters the ring. Puma works on Lethal as Daniels re-enters the ring. Just as Lethal is back in control, Homicide enters the ring. Lethal finds himself at the wrong end of the everyone in the ring as Sonjay makes a high flying entrance into the fray taking down two on his way in. Sonjay and Puma have the center of the ring as Petey enters. Petey goes for the Canadian Destroy on Puma, hits it, and Puma is the first man to touch the floor. Homicide with a quick shot makes Petey the second man to be eliminated. Shark Boy enters the ring and lands on Homicide. Elix is the next man in and promptly tosses Shark Boy to the floor. Elix eliminates Sonjay. Enter Kaz with multiple drop kicks. Kaz is total domination and begins his climb up the scaffold when Shenshi, the final entrant, charges into the ring and climbs after Kaz. Kaz tumbles and Senshi makes it to the top. Homicide brings Senshi down to the mat and Daniels makes his way to the top. Kaz brings Daniels back down. Kaz, Lethal, Senshi and Daniels meet at the X in the middle of the top bar at the same time before all four are brought back down. Daniels is back to the top and this time keeps his legs and feet away from the men below. Lethal is right behind him. Daniels knocks Lethal back to the mat before Kaz flies through the air taking Daniels back down. Senshi takes down Kaz and he rolls out to the floor. Kaz begins his climb this time going on top of the scaffold with Elix on the opposite end. They meet in the middle but out of reach of the X hanging below. Elix slips down and Kaz goes with him. Both within reach of the X, they lose their grip and are back to the mat. Meanwhile Lethal and Daniels are fighting it out in the middle of the ring. Kaz takes Homicide down from the top turnbuckle onto the mat. Daniels tosses Kaz out of the ring into the scaffold and into elimination. Lethal gets to the X before Elix pulls him back to the mat. Daniels has made it to the X and wins the match with Elix and Senshi keeping Lethal and Homicide at bay. Daniels, Senshi and Elix are again reunited as Triple X.
Although the match was geared to bring Triple X back into action, I was disappointed Petey Williams didnít get more time in the ring. Homicide was new to this type of competition. He has not had a lot of exposure in wrestling type situations. His work with LAX was more brawl than skill. Lethal kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Kaz and Sonjay are veterans of the X Division and it showed. Both are talented wrestlers and make the most of any match. Puma and Elix have not been active in TNA for quite some time. It will be interesting to see where Triple X goes from here. X Division matches are wrestling entertainment at itís finest.
Jeremy Borash interviews Team 3D. Brother Devon says more than we have ever heard since Team 3D made it into TNA. Problems arise between the brothers when Devon lets it be known he will win the match. According to Brother Ray, Devon will not be winning; Brother Ray will be the holder of the gold at the end of their match.
Voodoo Kin Mafia (BG & Kip James) & Roxxi Laveaux vs. Basham & Damaja with Christy Hemme & Lance Hoyt
This was announced as an official grudge match that involves VKM, Christy and Lance. BG does that great announcing before the match and introduces the newest member of VKM, Roxxi Laveaux who stares down Christy. BG and Damaja start the match. BG takes care of Damaja and Basham who sneaks into the ring, and takes Lance off the ring apron. Tags are made and Kip and Basham are wearing each other down. Basham misses a drop kick allowing Kip to get in a good arm drag before Lance gets involved. Christy manages to get into the ring to slap Kip. Roxxi comes to his aid but is headed off the referee. BG ends up outside with Lance and takes a dive into the guardrail. Basham gets a two count before tagging in Damaja. It then takes two as Basham and Damaja keep him away from the tag to Kip. Basham does a great dive from the top, but BG rolls out of the way. BG makes the tag after Basham tags in Damaja. Kip gets Basham out of the ring, but is blindsided by Basham with a high kick. BG goes outside to handle Damaja taking the refereeís attention with him. Lance helps himself to a chair at ringside, slides it into the ring and follows. Kip finds the chair and picks it up just in time to get smacked in the face courtesy of the chair and Lanceís foot. Kip manages to avoid a three count causing Lance to again show up on the ring apron to draw the refereeís attention. BG finds the chair and uses it to ensure that Kip will score a victory. VKM gets the win much to Christyís dismay. She sends Lance into the ring where he meets BG who kindly shows him the way back out to the floor. Christy decides she will handle the boys and goes into the ring after Kip. Kip obligingly holds her in order for Roxxi to give Christy a body slam. Christy is carried out by Lance.
The Christy Hemme/Lance Hoyt gimmick is a little beyond me so Iíll leave it alone. Christy is marketable eye candy, but I donít see her as a wrestler and she needs to work on the manager angle. She is a great thorn in the side of VKM. I should interject that VKM started the feud. Lance needs to spend less time as an errand boy and more time dominating his opponents. BG & Kip are an established synchronized team. They both can wrestle when the occasion arises. Roxxi is a novel addition to VKM. I think she could use some work on those voodoo gyrations. Basham and Damaja are talented wrestlers who need to find the right gimmick.
Jeremy Borash interviews Kurt Angle holding his championship belts in his dress suit obviously unhappy that Samoa Joe doesnít ďhave his backĒ.
Cowboy James Storm with Miss Jackie Moore vs. Rhino
This is a Rhino personal issue match involving Rhinoís problems with alcohol. Before the match gets underway, Miss Jackie decides to hassle the referee. She is promptly told to leave ringside. Rhino goes outside the ring in order to get his hands on Storm. It doesnít take long before the two end up in the audience with Rhino dominating Storm. Rhino stops to get in with his fans and stands. Audience reaction is appropriate for an adored wrestler. Storm then meets a wall courtesy of a Rhino toss. Rhino has a beer bottle in hand before deciding against hitting Storm with it and tosses the bottle into the crowd. Storm gets in a punch when the referee takes a chair away from Rhino, they get into the ring and the bell is rung. Rhino makes the mistake of getting up on the ropes and is shoved off the turnbuckle to the floor. Storm goes out after him, shoves him into the guardrail and tosses him back into the ring. Rhino hit the back of his head when he hit the floor and Storm takes advantage by working on his back and head. Storm tosses Rhino over the top rope and goes out after him again. Storm is not only in control; he spends the next few minutes of the match proving it. Rhino makes a comeback but Storm turns it around. Storm goes out of the ring to bring in his trademark beer bottle. The referee allows him to set it on the apron. Storm goes to the top rope. Rhino sup lexes Storm off the top, no pin, and a missed clothesline by Rhino sends the referee to the mat. Another suplex by Rhino and Storm goes for the beer bottle, nails Rhino in time for the referee to count Rhino out. Rhinoís forehead is bleeding. Storm goes for a rope to tie Rhino to the ropes. If you didnít see the end of this match, Iím not going to describe it. All I will tell you is it involved a disabled Rhino being attacked by Storm and Jackie and a lot of beer. It is disgusting. And it lasted way too long.
I donít get these personal battle matches involving Rhino and I donít enjoy watching him get annihilated in each and every match. Rhino is not a high flyer but he is good in the ring and has amazing stamina. Lately his matches have been: in the audience for the cheers, in the ring for the bell, and ultimately getting himself beaten to a bloody pulp. The matches are all the same, only the opponents change. Anyone just tuning in to TNA would think all Rhino could do is bleed. He needs to be heading in a new direction that showcases his talent. Miss Jackie gets involved in this one. Jackie is a marvelous heel but she has tremendous ability in the ring. Itís another case of wasted time and talent. Storm is one of the roster members I donít recall actually do any wrestling. It would be original to see the wrestling side of Storm with less emphasis on the beer bottles and the chairs.
Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley with Kevin Nash vs. Mr. Backlund & Jerry Lynne
Mr. Backlund spends the first few moments of the match outside the ring with the fans. He returns to the ring to lock up with Sabin. They trade full nelson holds until they go into the turnbuckle. Tags are made and Lynne and Shelley face each other. Shelley doesnít go for any traditional moves, but Lynne keeps up with him. A rake to the eyes and Sabin moves in on Lynne. Another tag is made and Shelley is back in the ring with Sabin, both working on Lynne. Lynne doesnít slow down and Shelley has to get back to tag in Sabin. Again it takes two but Lynne takes them both down ending with a DDT on Sabin. Sabin dropkicks Mr. Backlund off the apron. Lynne is tossed to the floor next to Nash but Nash keeps the referee busy. Sabin breaks up Lynneís sunset flip on Shelley. Nash and Mr. Backlund take turns distracting the referee, leaving Lynne on his own. Mr. Backlund invites himself into the battle throwing Sabin out of the ring before starting on Shelley. Mr. Backlund removes Shelley from the ring but Nash is waiting with a big boot to take out Lynne behind the refereeís back. Sabin and Shelley together pin Lynne and get the win.
Without the intervention of Kevin Nash, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley may have been hard pressed to win a match against Jerry Lynne and Mr. Backlund. Noting Lynneís tremendous efforts in each match I have watched, it may have been difficult for Sabin and Shelley to take on Lynne alone. Lynne is touted as the X Division Legend or the X Division Pioneer and he lives up to the title hands down. Sabin and Shelley show perfect teamwork whether fighting fair or playing dirty. They werenít as great in this match as they have been in the past. Mr. Backlund held his own. The match was fast paced and kept me watching.
The camera flashes to Jeremy Borash following Kurt Angle around the hallways backstage looking for ďbackupĒ. He finds Jay Lethal in the menís room and asks him to help him out. When Lethal turns Angle down, Angle beats down Lethal using the sinks and bathroom stalls as weapons.
Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks vs. Showtime Eric Young & Gail Kim
Earlier in the day, Gail Kim used a lip lock on Eric to get his attention away from Ms. Brooks. The match opens with Robert and Eric. When Eric tries for a pin, Ms. Brooks interferes, but catches Robert with the elbow meant for Eric. Enter Gail to the rescue of Eric. Eric stops to give Ms. Brooks a kiss, Robert heads for Eric, but he gets out of the way and nearly takes out Ms. Brooks. Gail dropkicks Ms. Brooks into Robert and Eric goes for the pin. Gail simultaneously pins Ms. Brooks but no one gets a three count. Robert goes outside of the ring and Eric does a suicide dive to take him out. Ms. Brooks goes out of the ring to help Robert, but Gail goes up to the top turnbuckle and dives on Ms. Brooks. Eric and Gail are back in the ring first with audience approval. Gail and Ms. Brooks are in the ring. Ms. Brooks uses a knee on Gail and tags in Robert who has no qualms about taking on Gail. Gail gives him a forearm, knocking him backward and Eric gets the tag. Eric shows us some fast paced maneuvers before Ms. Brooks grabs Ericís leg and take him down. A wishbone on the corner post and Eric appears to be down for the count. Roode tries for a pin but Eric gets his shoulder up. Roode tags in Ms. Brooks who tries to pin Eric before tagging Roode back into the match. Roode gets a two count on Eric after a body slam but he tags in Ms. Brooks. Eric gets his hands on Ms. Brooks but Roode gets the tag and saves her. Roode goes up on the second rope and does a dive on Eric. He still does not get a pin. Ms. Brook gets tagged back in and Eric takes her down. Roode tries the two on one, but Gailís impressive hurricane ranna takes Roode down. Gail goes up to the top and Roode catches her on the way down. Eric comes in and gives Roode a DDT before Ms. Brooks shoves Eric out of the ring. Gail delivers a drop kick to Ms. Brooks from the top rope. Roode tries to stop the pin, but Gail sees him coming, delivers a drop toehold and he lands on Ms. Brooks. He tries again with an elbow. Again Gail gets out of the way and Ms. Brooks takes the hit. Gail tries for the pin but Roode gets Gail by the hair. A double drop kick by Gail and Eric sends Roode back out to the floor and Gail gets the win. Roode regales us with one of his famous temper tantrums and Ms. Brooks is left alone in the ring with Roode. Eric comes back into the ring to de-pants Roode.
Eric Young has been a favorite of mine simply through his shenanigans since he broke with Team Canada. If he wasnít a wrestler, he could be a comedian. He is talented in the ring. Roode can be a wrestler but his character isnít allowing him much in the way of wrestle time. Gail Kim may not be a large girl, but she can and does fly. I like her lack of pulling hair and screaming style. Sheís a serious worker and while the male audience may appreciate her outfits, the general audience appreciates her abilities. Miss Brooks has not been a ďwrestlerĒ but she makes a bad girl look like it isnít hard work. This match gave us a chance to see Eric and Gail do what got them hired. And itís a good thing for Roode he has a nice backside!
We again are in the back with Kurt Angle and Jeremy Borash. Christian Cage has just finished telling Tomko and AJ Styles how great Christian is when Kurt interrupts to ask Christian if he can borrow Tomko or A.J. to watch his back. Christian turns Angle down. Unfortunately for Sonjay Dutt, he is the next person in Angleís sights and he pays the price as Angle does a beat down on the smiling happy Sonjay. Iím hoping Angle has a good dry cleanerÖheís certainly sweating up that nice jacket he is wearing.
Christian Cage vs. Wildcat Chris Harris
The match opens with Christian shoving the Wildcat back. Wildcat comes right back at him with an arm lock and these two are wrestling! Some nice rope action and Christian looks a little confused. The Wildcat plays a few loud chops off of Christianís chest and when the Wildcat holds Christian up on the air, the hang time is impressive. The Wildcat goes for the pin but Christian gets out of the pin and heads out of the ring with the Wildcat hot on his trail. They are soon back in the ring with the Wildcat showing us some fast moves. Christian takes the Wildcat through a wishbone on the corner ring post and Christian is up to the top rope He comes down and lands on the Wildcat but doesnít get the pin. Christian tosses the Wildcat out on the floor into the guardrail. Christian goes for a chair, but the referee intervenes. The Wildcat throws Christian over the steel steps and we are back to some haphazard rope action. Christian slaps the Wildcat and the Wildcat returns the favor by offering up a bulldog. A nice flying clothesline by the Wildcat takes Christian back down to the mat. Christian tosses the Wildcat out of the ring but the Wildcat lands on his feet. Christian is busy playing to the crowd and doesnít see the Wildcat re enter the ring and go to the top rope. Christian goes after the Wildcat, the Wildcat shoves Christian off to the mat and dives to go for a pin with a two count. Christian tries to pin the Wildcat by using the ropes, but canít hold him. They are both up on the second ropes, as they come off the rope, the Wildcat lands on his face. Wildcat uses Christianís patent move and nearly gets the pin. Both men look tired but the Wildcat spears Christian and gets another two count. Christian uses the same move the Wildcat tried and he does not get the pin. Christian then exposes the top turnbuckle and the Wildcat uses it to his advantage by catapulting Christian. The Wildcat still canít get a three count. Christian sneaks in the use of a chair as the Wildcat goes out of the ring after him and then uses a frog splash for the pin. Christian gets a two count. The camera shows us Dustin Rhodes at the top of the entrance ramp. The Wildcat uses the distraction to go for a roll up but he canít get past a two count. Christian motions for Tomko to come to the ring from the other entrance ramp and the referee turns his attention that direction. Dustin Rhodes enters the ring and uses the Wildcatís handcuffs to knock the Wildcat out. Christian uses a roll up to pin the Wildcat and gets the win.
Christian has spent most of his TNA time running his mouth and cheating his way into titles and he is good at it. I know Christian can be great. Iíve watched him for years. The Wildcat has some wrestling talent as a single. Every time the Wildcat is in the ring I watch him improve. There were some good camera angles in this match. Kudos to those brave souls with the cameras. The Wildcatís leaps from the top rope were a little tentative but right on the money. I like seeing Dustin Rhodes without all that gold stuff he used to wear and canít wait to see him in action. This was a fantastic match.
AJ Styles & Tomko vs. Abyss & Sting
The match opens with AJ and Abyss facing off in the ring. AJ goes for the leg of Abyss. Styles runs out of the ring, Abyss follows and AJ kicks Abyss on the way back in. AJís fists donít seem to phase Abyss. A flying body block by AJ shows him hitting the wall that is Abyssís chest. AJ tags in Tomko. Abyss and Tomko take turns throwing punches and chops. Abyss tags Sting into the ring. Again we see punches and chips being thrown. AJ canít stay out of the ring but Sting handles his opponents and tags Abyss in to face Tomko. A big boot by Abyss takes Tomko down and AJ comes in for the save. AJ and Abyss battle before Tomko tags in. and takes Abyss outside to the guardrail and the ring apron to wear Abyss down. Tomko tags in AJ who tries a series of shoulder blocks. AJ tags Tomko back into the ring and a double clothesline takes both men to the mat. Tomko tags in AJ who steps off Abyss to knock Sting down on the ring apron. Abyss gets the tag to Sting who handles AJ and Tomko with right punches, then clotheslines Tomko out to the floor. Abyss, on the outside middle rope, is aiming for Tomko on the floor. AJ kicks Abyss without realizing Tomko is in the way. AJ is now I the ring with Sting. AJ goes up to the top rope and Sting pushes him into AJ and Tomko who are just getting to their feet. Sting is on the top rope and dives into all three men on the floor. Sting takes AJ back into the ring and tries for the scorpion, but AJ manages to throw Sting into Tomko. AJ tries for a pin. Tomko is tagged in with Sting. He throws Sting through the air and decks Abyss. AJ gets the tag and gets in one of his high leap drop kicks to take Sting down. AJ doesnít get a three count. He tags Tomko in again who tries for a pin, but he canít get the job done. AJ sets Sting on the top turnbuckle and manages to get himself dropped to the mat as Sting comes off and lands a hit on AJ. Both men are down. Sting tags in Abyss and AJ tags in Tomko. AJ stays in the ring. Tomko gets a big clothesline courtesy of Abyss and AJ gets tossed in the air and dropped to the mat. Tomko again tries for a pin after a kick from AJ. Sting comes in for the save. Abyss gives AJ the shock treatment but Tomko is back in to deliver a body slam. Sting applies the scorpion to Tomko, but AJ has the refereeís attention so Tomkoís tap out isnít acknowledged. AJ flies off the top rope into Abyss who is knocked into Sting to break the hold on Tomko. AJ is thrown out onto the floor and Abyss delivers a black hole slam to pin Tomko for the win. At the end of the match break out the sunglasses for James Mitchell who showed up in that bright red suit to let Abyss know he is still around.
Abyss not only has a face under that mask, he can speak! Well, he had a face under Sting makeup. Iím still not sure what he looks like. Abyss and Tomko are close in size. Sting still has the ability to keep the crowd roaring. I am very much an AJ watcher. He is one of those highflying athletes that makes you wonder how he does it. This match was not as fast paced as some of the previous matches but considering the size of two of the contestants it was an excellent match.
We are off again with the camera in the back to follow Kurt Angle on his way to the ring still on a quest for someone to watch his back. He happens across Martyr and Havock and asks them to watch his back in the upcoming match. The pair laughs at Angle that creates another beat down for the naysayers.
Brother Ray & Brother Devon vs. Samoa Joe & Kurt Angle
AND/OR Brother Ray vs. Brother Devon vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
The match opens with Joe facing off with Devon. A little eye contact before the lock up and trading of wrist locks. Devon fires off a forearm and Joe counters. Joe goes for Devonís legs and now Devon is using fists to back Joe into the ropes. Joe delivers a high kick to Devonís head and Devon goes down to the mat. Joe reluctantly tags in Angle. Devon drops Angle with a right. When Angle fights back, Devon rakes the eyes and tags in Ray. Angle delivers two quick arm drags before Ray gets Angle backed into the corner. Angle uses a suplex and tries for a pin. Joe gets the tag and delivers a series of punches to Rayís head. Ray rakes the eyes and gets to Devon for a tag. Joe tries for a pin and then tags in Angle to work on Devon. A short time in the ring and Angle again tags in Joe. Joe works on Devon before handing Angle the tag. Angle again tries for the pin, doesnít get it and tags Joe. Angle and Joe work together to keep Devon down and to prevent Ray from interfering. Joe is back in the ring with multiple rights before switching to rights and lefts, then hands the tag to Angle. Devon manages to slam Angle and goes for the pin before Ray breaks up the pin. Devon and Ray have words before Ray takes the tag and Angle tags Joe. Ray attempts a tag but Ray comes in and breaks it up. There are words exchanged between Ray and Devon that escalates into shoving and slapping. Devon is left in the ring with Joe as Ray heads up the ramp. As Joe braces to slam Devon, Ray has a change of heart and comes back down to the ring. As soon as the refereeís back is turned, Ray delivers a low blow to Joe and he and Devon toss Angle out of the ring. Ray tags in to face Joe who is down on the mat. Ray tags in Devon but delivers several chops to Joeís chest before handing him off to Devon. Devon chokes Joe on the second rope and when the referee turns his back, Ray manages to stand on Joeís neck. Devon delivers the same chokehold on the top rope and Joe is down. Devon tags in Ray and Ray delivers a neck breaker. Ray tries for a pin then tags Devon. Devon delivers a series of right hands. Joe fights back but goes down before he can get to his corner. Joe delivers a knee to the side of Devonís head from the second rope and both men are down. Ray makes it to Angle to drop him to the floor. Joe goes for the tag and meets Rayís fist. Devon has Joe down on the mat. Joe punches his way out of a headlock but Devon rakes his eyes and Ray is in the ring. Joe takes down Devon and Ray. Joe makes it across to tag Angle who is in the ring with Ray and Devon. For the first few minutes it is all Angle until Devon manages a body slam. Joe goes to the opposite side of the ring to try to prevent a pin. Angle and Devon go off the top rope and Ray breaks up the pin. Joe tries to pin Ray twice with Angle working on Devon. Angle goes up to the top rope and lands a moonsault on top of Devon. Ray makes it in time to prevent the pin. Joe and Angle get Angleís ankle lock on Ray and Devon. Ray manages to kick Angle and Angle collides with Joe who goes down. Ray and Devon hit Angle with the Team 3D and Devon goes for the pin. On the count of two, Rick Steiner appears to pull the referee out of the ring. Devon is on the floor fighting with Rick. Scott Steiner appears in the ring and nails Ray with a pipe before rolling back out of the ring. Angle manages to break up the pin and Angle goes after Joe. Joe nails Angle from behind and pins Ray for the win.
This match was a little confusing. It was for the Tag Team championship. No, wait -- it was for the X Division championship. No, wait -- it was the for the Heavy Weight championship. No, wait -- it was for all three! Now we know why Kurt Angle needed someone to watch his back. Samoa Joe entered the match with Samoan music and fire dancers. That was a nice touch. During the introductions, Joe seemed to be the crowd favorite. Angle had a combo of boos and hurrahs. I read somewhere people were getting tired of the Angle/Joe battles. Joe is such an impressive athlete and Angle is a perfect foil. No one has ever complained about Brothers Ray and Devon in a match. The four of them together made for a good if not great final match. I was surprised that Scott showed up. I had heard he wasnít going to be back for some time.
I was not disappointed with this pay per view event.