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TNA Victory Road
by Samoa Rowe
NOvember 7, 2004
I am so sick and tired of WWF/WWE nostalgia. Now, TNA nostalgia is something ripe and fresh for the picking. Is there even such a thing as "TNA nostalgia?" Well, 15 years ago, they entered the traditional 3 hour pay-per-view arena for the first time.
From the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. Our hosts are Mike Tenay and Don Callis.
Earlier today, Shane Douglas tries to interview NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett as he gets out of his limo. Jarrett feels assured that his numerous enemies won't be in the building and struts off.
X Division Cup Gauntlet Match:
The rules are pretty goofy, with two guys starting, more competitors joining every 60 seconds, and eliminations via top rope and both feet hitting the ground. The last two guys might have a normal match, but who knows. This TNA tomfoolery almost seems charming in hindsight. Frankie Kazarian
starts against Sonjay Dutt
and the fans are crazy into it. Puma
is in next and plants Dutt with a Falcon Arrow. LA Park
is #4 and dances in with a chair. The fans are almost comically into this match as Park dishes out chairs shots. Jerelle Clark
is #5 and runs in for a back handspring corkscrew senton. Miyamoto
from All Japan is number 6, and is the first guy to not get a big pop. Clark hits a 630 splash, but Kazarian stops him with a dropkick. Matt Bentley
(with Traci) bounces his way to the ring and helps Kazarian toss Puma, Clark, and Miyamoto for the first 3 eliminations in rapid order. The late Hector Garza
is #8 and works with Park to stop Bentley and Kazarian's dominance. #9 is Nosawa
and he doesn't really do much. #10 is Mikey Batts
and there's a blast from the past I'd forgotten about. He enters with a Stunner variation, but Bentley stops him via hip toss. Number 11 is Alex Shelley
and he quickly dumps Dutt. Park gets backdropped out by Kazarian. There's a lot of punchy/kicky stuff happening considering the participants, but #12 Matt Sydal
fixes this with a moonsault off an opponent's back.
Shelley sells a back injury at ringside but isn't gone. #13 is Sonny Siaki, a man who would soon retire after donating his kidney to save a relative. Siaki suplexes Nosawa over the ropes. Garza throws Batts out. Number 14 is Jason Cross, hitting the ring with a tilt a whirl head scissors. Sydal misses a springboard moonsault and Cross kills him with a suplex. #15 is Shark Boy (and the crowd continues pouring mad love on everyone). Shark Boy bites Kazarian's butt while Sydal hits a springboard elbow on Cross. Shelley stops pretending to be hurt and helps eliminate Sydal. Number 16 is Psychosis and he goes right after Garza, who counters with a wheelbarrow suplex. D-Ray 3000 is number 17 and he and Shark Boy team up for their silly battering ram spot. They both avoid a backdrop elimination, but Siaki gets them both with clothesline. Number 18 is The Amazing Red and he goes after the much bigger Garza. Shelley gets dumped off camera. Psychosis crotches Cross on the rope for a flying spin heel kick. #19 is Spanky and he zeroes in on Bentley. Spanky hits a springboard back elbow, but Kazarian cuts him off. #20 is Chris Sabin! Crowd chants "Hail Sabin" as he cleans house with a spinning DDT off multiple bodies. Spanky and Sabin botch a dropkick elimination on Siaki, so they clothesline him out. Spanky eliminates Bentley with a headscissors takedown! Everyone gathers for the obligatory Tower of Doom spot that blows the roof off the building. Psychosis hits Cross with an inverted DDT and clotheslines him out. Red enziguris Psychosis out. Red head scissors Kazarian, who counters with a kick for the elimination. Sabin counters Spanky's Sliced Bread to throw him out. Sabin leaps to Superplex Kazarian into Garza! JEEZUS! Kazarian, Sabin, and Garza are the final three after rapid eliminations. Garza crotches Sabin and dropkicks him out. Kazarian and Garza duke it out and the crowd is helping them a lot. Kazarian's springboard leg drop gets a 2 count, so I was right about the rules. Garza's beautiful moonsault gets a great 2 count. Kazarian answers with a slingshot DDT. Garza misses a corkscrew moonsault, but reverses a cover for the win at 26:31. As an X Division Rumble, this was pretty bland until the Tower of Doom, but everything from that point on was chaotic fun. I mostly appreciate this match as a time capsule for an entire generation of cruiserweight talent more than anything else, ***½.
Winner: Hector Garza
Garza is interviewed on the floor. His Spanish promo is interpreted as humility and excitement for being back in TNA for all the fans.
Campaign ad for Dusty Rhodes, who is in the running for TNA Director of Authority. TNA sure did love these power struggle angles. He shouldn't have any problem winning an election against Vince Russo, unless Russia gets involved. Right on cue, Scott Stanford announces that there's been a web server breakdown in Stamford, Connecticut. He's interrupted by Kid Kash and friends, who blows a lot of smoke about being the greatest of all time and ready to lead his faction to greatness.
The Naturals (Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas), Dallas, and Kid Kash vs. Erik Watts, Pat Kenney, Johnny B. Badd, and Ron Killings
This might be the most random "get everyone on the card" multi-man match of all time. The fans give everyone such a great reaction, I'm seriously wondering if they are all paid plants. Bell rings and Kenney embarrasses Kash with rapid arm drags. Badd tags, but Kash pokes the eyes and tags in Douglas. Badd has no trouble tossing Douglas around. Stevens makes a blind tag and clotheslines the back of Watt's knee. Watts blocks Dalls with an... uranage? Dallas no sells and hits a sideslam. Kenney returns and fights an uphill battle as Dallas big boots him. Dallas barely connects with a moonsault. Killings gets a hot tag (I guess you could call it that) and runs wild. Badd reverses with a top rope rana, and Killings finishes a Natural with a DDT at 4:42. Just a bunch of meaningless random action that would have been better served as a dark match, *.
Winners: Ron Killings, Erik Watts, Pat Kenney, and Johnny B. Badd
A limo pulls in and Shane Douglas thinks Kevin Nash is inside. Security won't let him find out.
Abyss has been locked up in a cell for 24 hours and won't be let out until the beginning of Monster's Ball. I love this stupid gimmick.
Piratita Morgan vs. Mascarita Sagrada
Morgan cheap shots at the opening bell. The crowd continues to be really into everything, including this match. Sagrada delivers rapid offense, sending Morgan to ringside for a springboard crossbody. Morgan catches Sagrada in a dive, but it's reversed into a pinning predicament. Morgan hits a fireman's carry slam and splashes him. Morgan checks for a heartbeat, but Sagrada pops up, accidentally armdragging the referee in a flurry. Sagrada catches Morgan in a backslide pin for the win at 2:59. I don't think either guy was ever heard from again in TNA. Pointless, but inoffensive and provided some variety, *½.
Winner: Mascarita Sagrada
Scott Hudson hosts an election update, as the Russo vs. Dusty race is close, but they're waiting for the west coast results. 3 Live Kru interrupt and put themselves over as the next tag team champions.
Scott Hall makes an impromptu appearance in the ring. Hall really milks the "Hey yo" catchphrase and says you can't throw a party without him. Well, he's already drunk, so that's half the battle right there. Hall declares that Kevin Nash will NOT coming tonight. Hall feels that since he invented the ladder match, he'll be watching the main event closely. "May the best Jeff win." That sounds like a dog whistle promise to interfere in the match.
NWA Tag Team Championship:
Team Canada © (Eric Young and Bobby Roode, with Scott D'Amore) vs. 3 Live Kru (Konnan and BG James)
Roode and Young look so young here, it hurts. Roode starts against James, who already looked long in the tooth in 2004. James cuts off Eric's interference and whips him into Roode. James totally misses a crossbody, and Roode drives him into the ring frame. Team Canada isolate James as is expected for every tag match in the history of the industry. Ref didn't see James' tag, so he suffers a flying leg drop. Team Canada attempt to use the Canadian flag as a weapon, but James counters by driving the stick into them. Konnan gets the hot tag and hits his rolling clothesline and some backdrops. Konnan wraps Eric into the Sunrise but Roode breaks it. Roode catches James with a spinebuster but Konnan grabs his foot. Killings runs in to chase D'Amore out. Roode cheapshots James anyway. Konnan face plants Roode and claims the gold at 6:59. Huh, in my memory, Team Canada won this. I'll give them credit, this was nonstop action, and Team Canada were extraordinary @ssholes, **¾.
Winners and new NWA World Tag Team Champions: 3 Live Kru
Raven is wrapped in a straight jacket in his cell. He has a lot to say, as being crazy was the only thing that kept him from going insane. He can't wait to get out so he can hurt someone.
Campaign ad for Vince Russo, a man raised on the mean streets of New York. Dusty's bionic elbow was ridiculous, so vote for Russo.
The late "Rowdy" Roddy Piper arrives on the scene to a big reaction from the Impact Zone fans. Piper says he's been stabbed in bars, so he wants to show the wrestling world what a real man looks like. He welcomes his guest, the late Jimmy Snuka. Piper admits that for 21 years he's been haunted by Snuka diving off a cage onto him. No one, besides Snuka, could absorb a coconut shot, and get back up. Piper has a coconut in his jacket and gives it to Snuka, daring him to hit him as hard as he can. Snuka doesn't seem to know what to do. Kid Kash interrupts, and voices his annoyance that Piper is putting Snuka over for doing nothing. My thoughts exactly. Kash talks a ton of trash, so Snuka beats him up. Bentley and Kazarian run in for a save, but Piper tries to save. Sonjay Dutt runs in for a more effective save and clears the ring of the geeky villains. Kash smashes the coconut over Dutt's head before Piper chases him out. "Fun" segment that diminished the current stars. I would say this is the #LOLTNA moment of the evening, but we're only halfway through.
Monty Brown is going stir crazy in his cell. He declares that Victory Road will mark the end of Raven's delusions of grandeur and Abyss' "constipation problems" as they both feel the POUNCE...PERIOD!
Trinity (with Glen Gilberti and Johnny Swinger) vs. Jacqueline
Trinity issued an open challenge and Vince Russo said she wouldn't be happy with her opponent. Trinity assumes her opponent won't show up and poses for the camera on her guys' shoulders. Jacqueline runs in through the crowd and ambushes, hitting Gilberti and Swinger with a rolling takedown. She throws Trinity onto her men and takes them all down via flying crossbody off the apron. Gilbert grabs the leg to allow Trinity to gain the upperhand. Trinity's power slam and roundhouse kick gets 2. Jacqueline comes back with a release German suplex. Swinger grabs Jackie by the hair to snap her off the ropes, and Trinity hits a moonsault for the win at 2:36! Just an Attitude Era style trainwreck, *.
Scott Hudson updates us about the election results, with Dusty still enjoying a good lead over Russo, but they're waiting for the Florida count. Triple X members Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper interrupt and boast about having taken out James Storm. Daniels suggests that the Wild Cat and Cow Poke say their damn prayers, because they're about to be eaten alive.
Raven vs. Abyss vs. Monty Brown
The three competitors have allegedly been locked in personal cells for the past 24 hours, which is such an absurdly, brilliantly stupid gimmick that I love with all my heart. The match began during the hype video, as the camera pans to all three guys thrashing each other around the ringside area. Meanwhile, a mysterious masked figure watches from the rafters. Abyss brings Brown to the ring with a backbreaker, but Raven saves the match. Abyss hits a double clothesline. Raven jabs Abyss and brings a chair in. Abyss takes the chair but Raven stops him via superkick. Raven clotheslines Brown and stands the chair for a drop toe hold on Abyss. Brown avoids the same fate and throws the chair into Raven's face. Brown looks like wrestling's biggest star as he suplexes and powerslams Raven. Brown misses a POUNCE and wipes out the ref. Brown Jack Hammers Abyss, who then answers with a Black Hole Slam. Abyss fetches his back and dumps THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of thumbtacks all over the ring. Abyss prepares Brown for a superplex, but Raven powerbombs Abyss onto the tacks! Ewww! Raven's late cover gets 2. Raven stacks a table in a corner while the fans chant "This is awesome." Raven knocks Abyss off the apron and through a ringside table, but Brown blindsides him with a POUNCE through the corner table! Brown pins Raven at 9:00! This was a short and sweet bit of nasty business, ***.
Winner: Monty Brown
Shane Douglas is still trying to find out who is in the limo and has become quite irate.
Scott Hudson interviews X Division Champion Petey Williams and Scott D'Amore. Williams is upset at the notion that he's the underdog against challenger AJ Styles and vows to win via Canadian Destroyer. D'Amore declares that if Styles somehow wins the title, he will return to Canada and never return.
X Division Championship:
Petey Williams © (with Scott D'Amore) vs. AJ Styles
The crowd is on their feet at the opening bell as Styles hits a waistlock takedown. They trade rapid pin attempts and reach a stalemate. They trade chops and Petey rakes the eyes. Petey walks into AJ's headscissors, setting up a nasty dropkick. AJ misses a moonsault to the floor but rebounds with an enziguri. AJ's running plancha connects! Petey hits a chinbreaker to buy some time. Petey puts AJ in a tree of woe and stands on his groin while singing the Canadian national anthem! WHAT A HEEL! AJ answers with a springboard moonsault counter. Petey catches AJ in another tree of woe, but AJ reverses with a powerbomb! AJ's Pele kick buys some time. AJ unloads a flurry of strikes and hits a gross back suplex. The Phenomenal Forearm gets 2! They block each other's finishers and AJ hits a buckle bomb! AJ reverses a pinning predicament, but D'Amore distracts the ref on the apron. Petey grabs a hockey stick and the ref takes, it but misses Petey hitting AJ with the X title for a scary nearfall! AJ blocks another Destroyer, but D'Amore interferes again as they climb the buckles. Williams connects with the Canadian Destroyer for the win at 9:50! Hey, remember when a Destroyer was a finisher and not a transitional move? Man, I feel so GD old making that statement. This was a lively back and forth war with no filler and a red hot crowd, ***½.
Winner and still X Division Champion: Petey Williams
AJ Styles drops D'Amore with a Pele Kick to gain a moral victory.
Last Team Standing:
Triple X (Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper) vs. America's Most Wanted (James Storm and Chris Harris)
Bell rings and they immediately brawl at ringside. AMW hit the Last Call on Skipper in the ring and Harris superkicks the life out of Daniels. AMW avoid a Death Sentence, but it costs a guillotine leg drop on Skipper. AMW pins Daniels at 1:50, meaning he has a 10 count to get to his feet, which he does. Harris powerbombs Daniels for surviving, but Daniels answers with a side slam. Triple X double team Harris with tandem offense. Storm gets a hot tag, despite the fact that there doesn't seem to be any rules to this match, and runs wild through Triple X. Daniels catches Storms' knee with a dropkick, and Triple X kill him with a double neckbreaker for a pinfall at 5:30. Storm gets to his feet, but Skipper passes a chair to Daniels for a chair shot to the bad knee and another pinfall at 6:05. So, weapons are legal? Cool. Storm desperately gets up but he's bailed out by Harris. Daniels misses a moonsault, and Harris spears him for a 2 count. Harris knocks Skipper off the buckles and plants Daniels for another pinfall at 7:39. Daniels can't stand up and is eliminated. Harris catches Skipper in a powerbomb for 2. Skipper is too hurt to hit a finisher and they both collapse. Skipper gets a chair but Harris counters with a Catatonic onto the chair for a pinfall at 10:56. Skipper can't get up and AMW wins at 11:15. This was a bit of a mess with confusing rules, but both teams got their hatred over, **¾.
Winners: America's Most Wanted
Triple X are sore losers and beat up AMW with chair shots. THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE WITH A MOTYC AT THE NEXT PPV!
Scott Hudson interviews NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett backstage. Jarrett says the only thing on his mind is climbing up the ladder to get his championship. Since Kevin Nash is a no-show, there's no hope for Jeff Hardy.
Mike Tenay announces the winner of the TNA Director of Authority, Dusty Rhodes! Rhodes comes to the ring to the presidential march and shakes hands with fans along the way. Dusty thanks the fans for voting for him and immediately books an AMW vs. Triple X rematch in a Six Sides of Steel match at Turning Point. Dusty declares that Victory Road has revolutionized the industry and eggs the fans to chant "TNA."
NWA World Championship (Ladder Match):
Jeff Jarrett © vs. Jeff Hardy
Jarrett was already really stale as the top champion in TNA, and he would continue to be the perennial title holder for the next two years. Jarrett's cheap shot backfires and Hardy rams him into the buckles with a ladder. Hardy sandwiches Jarrett in a ladder for a double leg drop. Hardy puts Jarrett in an upside down ladder and stands on him. Hardy hits something resembling a slam and misses a leg drop off the top of the ladder. Jarrett takes over, bridging a ladder on the rails and ring frame for a front suplex. Surprising "Let's go Jarrett, Let's go Hardy" dueling chant as Jarrett knocks Hardy off the apron with a ladder and into the ref. Jarrett nearly grabs the belt but Hardy dropkicks him off. Hardy drapes Jarrett on a ladder for a Swanton Bomb! Hardy climbs, but Scott Hall
runs in throws him down with a Razor's Edge! Security fail to escort Hall out, as he takes a seat at ringside. Hardy piles a pair of ladders and leaps to catapult a ladder into Jarrett's chin! Hall interferes again, pulling Hardy to ringside for a series of jabs. Hardy rushes back to push Jarrett off a ladder. Hardy climbs again, but Jarrett sends him crashing onto Hall! Hardy catches both Jarrett and Hall with a Will of the Whisp to the floor. Hardy sets up a super ladder at ringside and meets Jarrett at the top for a slugfest. They tip over and land on Hall on the ramp! They both climb a ladder in the ring and Hardy botches a sunset flip powerbomb, but Jarrett slips off anyway. Hardy hits a sunset flip bomb off the apron. Jeff climbs for the gold and kicks a chair into an interfering Hall. Twist of Fate on Hall and Swanton Bomb. Jarrett returns with a guitar and makes a climb, but is distracted by the arrival of Kevin Nash
! Nash struts in with double guitars, but hilariously turns on Hardy. Jarrett retrieves the gold at 18:37. I guess we're supposed to be shocked by Nash "turning heel" to align with his best friend. This just felt like two former WWE guys slumming it, **½.
Winner and still NWA World Champion: Jeff Jarrett
Nash grabs a microphone and boasts that he and his friends just take over and make all the money. He dares anyone in the back to come do something about it. AJ Styles answers the call and enters with a springboard clothesline. Styles dropkicks Nash off his feet and prepares Jarrett for a Clash when Nash catches him with a big boot. 3 Live Kru run in for a save but get beaten down as well. Finally, the limo door opens, and it's none other than "Macho Man" Randy Savage! Security blocks Savage from entering the ring as the broadcast cuts out.
Final Thoughts: Was this better than a typical WWE show from 2004? Probably not. Was it better than a typical WWE show from 2019? Easily. Am I nostalgic for early 00's TNA? Surprisingly, yes. If you're an Impact Plus member, take some time and enjoy the "good old days" with a charming, inoffensive show that provided plenty of variety, even if some of it kind of sucked.
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