Victory Road 2004
Date: November 7, 2004
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay
Well you knew I would start doing these eventually so here’s the first one. TNA is officially the number two company in the world, but back in the day they were more or less fighting for their lives every night. This was a major step for them though as all of a sudden they were mainstream with a show on FOX Sports South and now PPV.
The main two matches here are Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy (pre-main event appeal) in a ladder match and the X-Division Title match with AJ Styles taking on Petey Williams. Oh and Hall and Nash are debuting here. This sound familiar to anyone? Let’s get to it.
The intro is kind of a western theme about how we make our own destinies. It’s pretty basic really but it sets the stage I guess. We do however begin the idea of having every announcement be overblown and made to see huge when they just aren’t. It’s not bad but it’s fine I guess.
The winner gets a cup. Ok then. This is called a reverse battle royal which in reality is a Royal Rumble and then the final two have a singles match. Kaz is number one and Sonjay Dutt is number two. It’s out of 20 mind you. In other words it’s the main event of the first weekly PPV. The time is sixty seconds here. Michael Shane and Kaz hold the X-Division Title at this point mind you.
Puma, a Japanese wrestler is 3rd. This is pure spotfest stuff here but that’s really all it needs to be for the most part. La Parka is number four. Oh he’s LA Park now. Good to know. I wonder if his brother is named Central and lives on the east coast. He has the chair and does that stupid dance of his. Jerelle Clark, a guy that did nothing at all ever, is number 5.
He’s Mr. 630 because he could do a 630 flip. Yeah I’m not impressed either. Miyamoto is number 6. He’s on Team Japan which is an actual team of Japanese wrestlers. There was a thing called the World X Cup which was way too complicated and not a lot of people cared about it but whatever. They keep the clock on the screen here which is nice. Michael Shane, the co-X-Division champion is number 7.
More importantly than anything else in his career, he’s Shawn Michaels’ cousin, hence the name. Puma is the first guy out. Clark is too. Miyamoto is out We have the champions, LA Parka and Dutt. Number 8 is Hector Garza, who is the captain of Team Mexico. The clock is messed up now of course. Nosawa, another Japanese guy, is 9th. This is taking way too long and there aren’t enough stars in there. You can’t use this crowd to grade it though as they’ll cheer for everything.
Mikey Batts is 10th. See what I’m having to deal with here? There’s just nothing interesting happening at all here. Alex Shelley, a more or less unknown heel at this point, is 11th. He puts Dutt out to clean out a bit of the clutter in there. There goes Parka also. Matt Sydal is number 12. He’s more commonly known as Evan Bourne which is what he’ll be called here.
Shelley goes through the ropes so he’s still in and has a back injury. Sonny Siaki who I think signed with WWE for awhile is 13th. What do you expect: he’s a musclehead. Nosawa is gone. Jason Cross is number 14. Oh great it’s Shark Boy. That’s just who I wanted to see in here. Shelley pulls out Bourne and Psycosis is 16th. D-Ray 3000, perhaps the most worthless wrestler ever, is 17th.
They’re just killing time out here and it’s not interesting in the slightest. Both he and Shark Boy are put out by Siaki. Eighteenth is Amazing Red. Shelley finally goes out. Kendrick, called Spanky here, is 19th. Chris Sabin is 20th as this just needs to end. Seriously, THIS is opening the show. It’s 1/6 of the entire show and everyone is ok with that. Siaki is out. Spanky puts out Shane. I hate that name.
In the most contrived spot I’ve ever seen, we get a seven man Tower of Doom. Give me a break. Jason Cross is gone, no word yet on if anyone not related to him cares. Red gets a nice superkick and puts out Psychosis. And Red is out next. Spanky is out and we’re down to Sabin, Garza and Kaz who started it. Sabin goes out so it’s Garza vs. Kaz for the cup. This is SO much more entertaining than say, the X Champions fighting EACH OTHER?
Garza hits a sweet moonsault that gets a long two. Garza takes a DDT and gets up at four which is called two for some reason. He then misses his big corkscrew move and rolls up Kaz to get the win. I hated this match. Naturally his interview is all in Spanish and there’s no translation. That’s perfect right? Oh there is one. I just don’t care.
Rating: D. The spots were cool, but this was WAY too long. Seriously, we just spent half an hour on a match for a cup. Does anyone else see why this was freaking stupid or is it just me? TNA doesn’t get it, so things are all normal I guess. Garza would be deported in like a month.
Ron Killings/Erik Watts/Johnny B. Badd/Pat Kenney vs. Dallas/Kid Kash/Naturals
Oh look MORE people in the same match. Could this get any worse? Why would you sign Mero at this point? Seriously, why? Dallas is now known as Vance Archer and Killings is R-Truth in case you didn’t know. This is just what you would expect it to be: bad wrestling but overhyped to heck and back by West and Tenay. Badd is said to be a legend.
Even in his own mind I don’t think he’s that dumb. To the shock of no one, this turns into a big brawl. They do the random people jump into the ring and get knocked out again spots as this has no flow to it at all. Badd hits a hurricanrana to set up something resembling a Pedigree from Truth for the pin. Badd was gone in a few months as was Watts. Kenney (Simon Diamond for you ECW guys) was seen once in awhile I think.
Rating: D+. There was just no point to this at all. It was all over the place and had no flow to it. This makes 28 wrestlers in two matches. Do you think that’s enough? It’s complete overkill at this point and is just insane.
Some actor from Dodgeball says that Nash isn’t in a limo with him.
Mascarita Sagrada vs, Piratita Morgan
And we have a midget match. Morgan is a pirate. We hear the history of midget wrestling from Tenay who tries to make this interesting and fails. This is incredibly short and Sagrada wins with a small package. This is exactly what you would have expected it to be.
Rating: N/A. It was no more interesting or boring than any other match not having Max Mini in it.
Hall says Nash isn’t here. Shock and surprise, he’ll be here later. Can no one get to a show on time?
Tag Titles: 3 Live Kru vs. Team Canada
Team Canada here is Bobby (Robert) Roode and Eric Young while 3LK is Konnan and Road Dogg. They use the Freebird rule to fight and will use it if they win the belts here, along with Ron Killings. Anyway, this is the finale of a long feud between them which of course didn’t end here. We start with Roadie and Roode. For the life of me I do not get the hype on this guy. He’s ok and that’s it.
People to this day think he could be a main event guy. Why? Tell me one thing that he could do that would validate him as a main event guy. And I don’t mean a line like just watch him or how can’t you see it. Pretend I’m stupid and tell me what it is that this guy has that makes him a big star. Konnan is in now with Young and these two just amuse me to no end.
We have a guy that no one cares about that tries desperately to play up the gimmick of being from another country which makes him interesting when he’s just bland otherwise and no one cares about him, and then we have Eric Young. We hit the formula portion of our event with the heels working over Roadie to build up Konnan for the hot tag.
Does anyone else see this sucking harder than a Diva wanting to get a job? I miss Scott D’Amore. The guy was a fat waste of oxygen but he was a decent talker and heel manager. Nothing great here but it’s kind of like the first Mania where the tag titles changed: it allows you to have a title change so the show is memorable and has some impact to steal a pun from myself.
Konnan finally gets the tag after a heel miscommunication (remember folks: TNA is breaking NEW ground!) spot and cleans house. It of course turns into a brawl with Roadie being fine after getting taken out for about 4 minutes. D’Amore tries to use the hockey stick but Killings comes in for the save and a BAD looking X-Factor gives the Kru the titles.
Rating: C. It was average, plain and simple. This match could have been on any TV or house show or PPV and it would have been fine. At seven minutes long they didn’t have much time to get anything substantial going but still, this wasn’t much but it was fine for what it was I suppose.
And now we have Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka. This has seriously been done to death and for the life of me I don’t get it. We understand: Snuka got hit with a coconut twenty years ago at this point. WE GET IT! Piper apparently wants to make amends by letting Snuka, who looks BAD hit him with a coconut.
This goes on for a few minutes until Kid Kash comes out. Naturally there’s a brawl, including the Naturals in a nice pun that was unintentional, and everyone leaves as the fat man takes his jacket off. I have no clue why this happened.
Trinity vs. ???
She issued an open challenge, Jacqueline accepts it, the guys she manages interfere, Trinity wins with a moonsault to prove she can wrestle and doesn’t just have a job because she looks decent and that’s it.
Rating: N/A. Can you tell I didn’t care? I hope I was subtle with it.
Abyss vs. Monty Brown vs. Raven
This is the original Monster’s Ball match, which originally was far different. The idea here is that the guys have been locked up without light or food for 24 hours. This aspect has since completely disappeared due to reasons of sanity and now it’s just a regular hardcore match. The announcers say that Raven has the advantage here as he’s smaller and crazier which makes sense, at least in the lack of food and light idea.
We have a table set up inside of 30 seconds. Abyss is dominating here for the most part. It’s really more of an intense triple threat rather than a hardcore match and now we have chairs coming in. Raven really is underrated in the ring. I love what Brown does by just chucking a chair at Raven’s head. That’s awesome. Naturally we have a ref bump because they’re required I suppose.
Now we move to the big spots of the match as we have Brown sitting on the top rope and Abyss busts out the tacks. Since he’s the only one wearing a shirt you know that he’s the guy that’s going to wind up going through them. Yep, Raven comes in to powerbomb him while he’s trying to suplex Brown. That wasn’t predictable at all. Not a bit. Raven gets two off of it and then we set up another stupid spot as the table is set up in the corner and Raven gets Pounced (a spear/tackle) through it. It was a mess of course.
Rating: D+. These things are going to happen and while I can’t stand them, I get that there’s a point to them. There is a market for these I guess and at least they’re keeping it shorter. There’s really no way to make these good without going too far, but this was really lackluster even for one of these.
AJ wants to be champion again.
X-Division Title: Petey Williams vs. AJ Styles
AJ was a huge star almost at this point but he was still the king of the midcard as he would be for a long time to come, as in like 5 years. These two just go freaking nuts like an old school cruiserweight match. AJ hits a perfect backflip off the apron to the floor and then a senton over the top rope to the floor. Petey takes over with a jawbreaker and we get down to a bit more of a standard match to set up AJ’s big comeback.
For a crowd the all loves AJ that’s a heck of a dueling chant they have going. Ok that was cool. Petey puts AJ in the Tree of Woe and stands on his crotch. He does it again and AJ does more or less a really bit sit up and grabs AJ to pull him back in a German suplex which he follows with a Pele. I LOVE that springboard forearm. It just looks awesome.
Both guys counter each other’s finisher and then AJ just chucks Petey into the corner. That’s one way to do it I guess. AJ has the pin but the fat Canadian coach interrupts it. AJ kicks out of a belt shot so at least the match should be ok for the ending as that would have killed it for me. After more interference, we get the awesome finish as Petey hits the Canadian Destroyer, which is just completely awesome. It’s a jumping flip piledriver. In other words he’s got him in a regular piledriver but jumps forward and does a full flip before hitting it. That’s just amazing on a lot of levels.
Rating: B. This was very fun but AJ should have gone over here. I mean it’s your biggest show and your top face for the most part goes over to a generic guy with a cool finisher. That just doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s TNA so why am I surprised? Fun match though.
Dang there haven’t been many interviews tonight.
We recap this way too long of a feud with nothing of note to talk about. They hate each other, end of recap.
XXX vs. America’s Most Wanted
So this feud more or less went on for about two years. That’s not overkill at all though is it? XXX is Daniels, Skipper and Low-Ki, but here’s it’s minus the third guy. This is elimination, last man standing rules although they use the Texas Deathmatch formula of pin then the count starts here instead. It’s also tag rules which makes even less sense but whatever.
Storm and Skipper begin the match after a huge brawl that I guess actually began the match which makes even less sense. Ok we’re two minutes in and we’re at about our fifth double team move including a Hart Attack and a Death Sentence. Why do the names of moves have to be so freaking violent??? We get a pinfall on Daniels but he’s up at about 8.
To be fair this makes it seem like XXX lost inside of 5 minutes but also it could be said that he let himself get pinned so that he could have the 9 second breather, which at least makes sense. They brawl a good bit but for the most part they’re staying in the ring and keeping this as a normal tag match. There’s a chair being used a fair amount which strikes me as odd.
Speaking of striking a shot to Storm’s knee puts him down for thirteen to make it 2-1. After some miscommunication that sends Skipper to the floor, a guillotine legdrop makes it Skipper vs. Harris. Skipper is messed up bad and he looks like he’s got one heck of a concussion. To my surprise the other two are gone. They need to end this, like now. Skipper looks like Brock did at Mania 19 if that tells you anything.
So what does TNA do when the guy can’t even set up his one big move? They have him take a Catatonic, a big spinning slam onto a chair. You couldn’t improvise a leg injury and have him just not be able to stand? To prove how out of it he is, he tries to get up at 10 but the referee more or less shoves him back down to end this. Thank you. At least the referee had some intelligence and decency about him.
Rating: D+. The injury just completely destroyed the ending here and it hurt the match a lot. The point here though is the complete lack of care for Skipper though as he was clearly injured badly but the match kept going anyway. I get that this is supposed to be a brutal match and so forth, but this was just ridiculous on a lot of levels. It’s ok to change something if a guy is clearly injured. Either way, the match wasn’t that good with no violence or brutality to warrant such a gimmick.
Dusty Rhodes has been elected Director of Authority or something. He makes a speech, I need a drink.
Finally it’s main event time. Hardy beat Monty and Raven on Impact to get this. It’s a ladder match here. Jarrett beat him up a few times. This somehow takes five minutes to say.
NWA World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett
It took 9 minutes to get from package to bell. Oh and remember Hall and Nash are both here and allegedly they’re both in Jarrett’s corner. Now in case you don’t know, Jeff Hardy has had ladder matches before. I need to make sure you know this, because the announcers only tell us about 49 times so because they don’t go with the full 50, make sure you know: Jeff Hardy has been in ladder matches before.
West is surprised that Hardy is using the ladder as a weapon. Has he never watched WWF television? Why do the announcers have to keep repeating themselves? There’s really no attempt at getting the ladder and it’s just moves to hurt each other. There’s no flow to this at all and it’s just spot after spot. I know the others have that also, but there’s a clear flow to it and you can easily see the differences between the two.
Hall comes out and hits a Razor’s Edge on Hardy which does nothing at all. The fans for the most part look bored as they have all night. That’s the problem here: all of these spots have not only been done but they’ve been done better by more interesting characters. There’s just no reason to care at all here and it’s painfully showing. And now we have a big ladder. Where have I seen this before?
They set it up on the floor and climb it which is completely pointless as it’s about even with what a regular ladder in the ring would be at. Oh look, Hardy is in control and Nash, with his own entrance music, is coming down. Nothing but good can come of this right? Oh you know it’s coming. They beat up Hardy and Jarrett keeps the title. They call themselves the Kings of Wrestling as they try to do the NWO thing all over again.
AJ comes out to fight them and gets beaten down then Three Live Crew (because I like literacy) comes out and fight to something resembling a stalemate before Macho Man debuts and we go off the air. Yep, the six man was your main event next month and then Savage was gone. What a mess this was.
Rating: D. This was awful. It felt like they said we’re going to have a ladder match then looked around and asked if anyone knew how to do that. It wasn’t interesting at all and it wasn’t any good. None of the spots made you want to see more and nowhere in here did I think Hardy would win. The Outsiders as usual meant nothing. They had one big moment 14 years ago and they’ve ridden it ever since. This felt like an imitation of something better but they knew it was bad.
Overall Rating: D-. I get that this was the first PPV and I’m grading it as such. This was just a failure on almost all levels. Seriously, the two top faces both lose their title matches in favor of Petey Williams, Jeff Jarrett, the Outsiders and a weak NWO parody. 1/6 of the show was one boring match, and the rest was more or less filler.
There wasn’t one moment here where I wanted to see what would happen next. This felt more like a final show than a first show, and that’s just not good, MAYBE hardcore TNA fans will like this, but casual fans will hate it. Avoid for the most part.