Victory Road 2008
Date: July 13, 2008
Location: Reliant Arena, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay
So this is just another PPV despite what TNA would want you to think. The main event is Joe vs. Booker as we’re in Booker’s home town and Joe has had issues with Booker for awhile. I’m starting to remember these feuds more concretely now so I might actually have some insight. This is also the final round of the World X Cup which is kind of like an Olympics thing TNA did that I never really thought was all that special although there are a lot that do. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about NASA and doing things never before done. Kind of weak but I can live with that. Just what is a Victory Road though?
The set looks like an old Nitro set. I think I like that. Ultimate X is back tonight and there’s a Fan’s Choice match tonight.
JB is outside and we’re asked what we want in the 6 man: falls count anywhere, tables, or full metal mayhem (TNA’s TLC). Polls are open until 11 tonight, which is after the show ends. Brilliance.
Lauren (GORGEOUS) is with BG James who says absolutely nothing of note.
Team Mexico vs. Team Japan vs. Team TNA vs. Team International
Team Mexico – Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Bucanero/Averno
Team Japan – Milano Collection A.T./Masato Yoshima/Puma
Team International – Alex Kozlov/Doug Williams/Tyson Dux
Team TNA – Curry Man/Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin
This is a 12 man four corners elimination match. Coming into this the standings are Team Mexico and Team TNA with three points and the other two with two points. This is for three points. I’ll do what I can to tell the people apart but don’t expect much. Apparently it’s EVERY MEMBER has to be eliminated. I miss Curry Man.
Daniels can shake his hips when he has to which is odd to type if nothing else. The Guns are starting to come into their own here and it’s working to an extent. Pretty soon they would be jobbing to big teams rather than just bad ones. Curry and Yoshino start us off.
And here are the Guns to beat the tar out of him. West points out how it’s smart to stay on the apron because it’s easier to stay in the match by being out of it, which actually makes sense. All of Team Mexico beats up Williams as this is a total mess at this point due to so many people being in it.
Dux goes for a victory roll but Bucanero drops into it kind of like a piledriver (think Owen vs. Bret at Mania X but more like a spike than a rollup if that makes sense) to get us down to eleven which is still too many. Team Japan beats the tar out of Bucanero in some painful looking stuff.
We crank the speed up a lot here and Puma is gone. There are two referees here thank goodness. What kind of a name is Milano Collection AT? It sounds like a cookie company or something. Cradle Shock takes him out anyway. That leaves just Yoshima for Team Japan.
West points that out and Tenay of course repeats it like 8 seconds later. Shelley hits a SWEET baseball slide on him while he’s in the Tree of Woe. He catches Shelley in an Octopus hold which is one of the most painful holds ever but of course just lets it go since it’s not that important I guess.
Shelley is just beating the heck out of Yoshino. Averno and Yoshino have a very nice high speed sequence as Yoshino is just trying to hang on. Averno gets pinned off a rollup though so we have one down for International and Mexico, two down for Japan, and TNA is intact. Chaos Theory on Sabin is broken up at two.
Team Mexico hit a pair of springboard cross bodies which looked great. Williams’ face is great when he gets nailed with a high spot. Guerrero hits a middle rope powerbomb on Curry Man to get us down to seven people left. That’s bearable at least. A crazy double team gets rid of Williams. I know I’m saying a lot really fast here but there’s no transition between a lot of these pins.
It’s the Motor City Machine Guns vs. Yoshino vs. Kozlov vs. Guerrero and Bucanero. Guerrero hits a gordbuster off the top for two on Kozlov. Kozlov gets a SWEET Russian Leg Sweep into a Cobra Stretch a la Delirious for the tap from Guerrero. This is FAST. Sabin hits a GREAT hurricanrana into a double super kick on Bucanero to get rid of Team Mexico. That clears things up a lot.
Since it’s a multiman match, it’s…actually not a Tower of Doom even though they were in position for one. All four are in the ring for a long time as they’re not even trying to have a coherent match at this point and I can’t really blame them. Sabin does the same run after the other guy thing that DiBiase does but hooks a Diamond Cutter instead of a clothesline. This is rather good stuff.
Kozlov goes heel and pulls the referee in front of him before rolling Sabin up and using the ropes to get rid of him. We’re down to Yoshino, Shelley and Kozlov here. Kozlov hits a great enziguri to counter a dive that missed for two on Yoshino. Sick looking move. Kozlov taps to Yoshino and we’re down to one on one.
Shelley kicks his head off and Sliced Bread gets two only. I would have bet on that being the end. A PAINFUL looking Tiger Suplex gets two. Shelley just goes OFF and hits something like a reverse Emerald Flowsion for the pin.
Rating: B. This was a hard one to grade as it’s very different from anything most people will be used to. It’s definitely a great match as far as athleticism and showing off, but at the same time nearly half an hour is a bit much. This was definitely good though and a GREAT way to get the crowd fired up.
The problem though is what Don West says immediately after the final pin: I’m exhausted from watching that. I think that could be a problem as that’s likely to be the most exciting thing all night long. Hopefully not though.
TNA – 6
Japan – 4
International – 3
Mexico – 3
We run down the rest of the card which we’ve already paid for at this point.
We see Booker’s “Homecoming” which is just a tour of his house and how much stuff he has. It’s a nice house if nothing else, but this is nothing but a waste of time.
We recap Angelina vs. Gail which is over Love interfering which allegedly is about her being jealous. I didn’t realize that Beautiful People were two and a half years old.
Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim
Just Love and Sky at this point and a bit less slutty. We hear about how proud Kim is to be a Knockout. Yep, proud enough that she bailed on the company for more money. Velvet interferes early to give Love the advantage. The BP weren’t that good in the ring yet at this point so they had to cheat.
Kim gets a Figure Four around the post but doesn’t lean back with it so it just looks weird. This is a pretty basic match but it’s working fairly well I think. Kim busts out a Codebreaker and a neckbreaker for the pin. Kind of anti-climactic ending but what do you expect? Post match Gail avoids a double beatdown.
Rating: D. Just not that good. I know Love is pretty bad in the ring but still this just wasn’t a very good match at all. Love was still getting used to wrestling and while Kim is good, she’s not good enough to carry something like this. Good to see her get the win though which is the right thing.
Lauren and BG James are with the 12 “fans” armed with leather straps for the Fan’s Revenge match tonight.
We recap Lethal vs. Dutt which was supposed to be an homage to the Mega Powers or something like that but it didn’t work at all. So Cal Val being around a lot was nice though.
Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt
So Lethal is Randy Savage and Dutt is an Indian peace man or something. Dutt gives Val a rose and a card and the fight is on. It’s ALL Lethal to start us off here. Lethal misses a dropkick by about two feet but it’s sold anyway. That makes my head hurt. Tenay says Guru like Gru so it’s very annoying.
Dutt goes for a slingshot move. I assume he did at least as that’s what Tenay said. Not like we got to see it or anything. This is fast paced but no one really cares it seems. I mean really, an homage to a 20 year old angle with these two? Seriously? This is mostly Dutt in control but we’re at about look #38 at Val. We get it: she’s hot and concerned.
Lethal takes over but Val gets nervous and Dutt nails him. Dutt says he loves Val, and the camera work is KILLING this match. Val gets involved AGAIN and this time it lets Dutt roll Lethal up for the pin. Dutt kisses her hand before leaving. Of course Val would turn on Lethal later as EVERYONE expected.
Rating: D. Like I said, the cameras killed this as they were constantly looking at Val and missing spots because of it. A lot of the time it’s better to just keep the camera on the ring and don’t worry about the hot chick.
Either way, this wasn’t going to be that good anyway as they kept doing the same thing (fight a bit, look at Val, lose control because of it) and that was how the match ended. Just an overly long and not that good of a match.
Recap of Beer Money vs. LAX who are feuding because…well because LAX have the belts and Beer Money are challengers. No reasons for the Fans’ Revenge stuff but whatever.
Beer Money and Jackie talk about being mad. Seriously, can someone shoot Jackie?
Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. LAX
Jackie stays in the back thank goodness. Ah ok Beer Money beat on LAX in an Impact match where afterwards they tied them up and hit them with belts. I found that on Wikipedia so there you go. That’s the crack TNA recapping staff for you. The fans with the straps are all wearing LAX shirts so you can figure out what’s going to happen here.
Hector Guerrero is with them and has a massive sombrero. He looks IDENTICAL to Eddie. So Beer Money are challengers, have no fans on the floor, and don’t have their manager. This is perfectly logical. Roode gets slapped by the straps a lot and runs to Storm. This is SO riveting. Homicide doesn’t get whipped and steals some of Storm’s beer. Why are girls so often called gals? Is one more letter so hard to say?
I’ve never seen the genius that Homicide allegedly is in the ring. Storm runs under the ring in kind of a funny bit. Homicide hits Three Amigos to get an Eddie chant going. Beer Money hit a Hart Attack in a nice move. Storm doesn’t let go of the legs and puts on a Boston Crab in a nice move. That was my issue with the Hart Attack: Anvil never really did much. We get a hot tag to Hernandez who cleans house.
This just isn’t interesting at all for some reason. It’s just happening and I’m not really caring about it at all. Hernandez’s power is insane at times. He hits a top rope splash on Roode where the referee counts three since Storm misses his cue. They just say it’s two anyway but whatever. A Doomsday Device ending with a Diamond Cutter ends it for LAX.
Rating: D+. So? That’s the only thing I can think of to say. The faces win a match they were supposed to win and there’s no point to this feud anymore. This just wasn’t worth much at all as the straps were all to beat up Beer Money and the whole match just made LAX look even stronger. What’s the point of that? And why didn’t Roode even try to buy some of them off?
More of Booker, this time at the PWA training center where we see some of his guys wrestling. That’s actually kind of cool, but it’s making him look like a face when he’s the heel. Oh right it’s TNA.
We recap Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong, which can be summed up as Wilde was a fan from the crowd that was given a title match and won it. Yeah that’s really all there is to it.
Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taylor Wilde
No intro for Kong here either. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Yep Wilde is hot. Not sure why I was ever unsure on that one at all. Kong dominates early on as you would expect as the camera work stays bad. Kong hooks a camel clutch of all things which is a move that works for her actually.
Wilde is more or less just fighting for all she can but when she grabs Kong by the hair, Kong flicks her into the corner BY THE HAIR. FREAKING OW! Kong takes her head off with a clothesline because she can. Wilde hits an armdrag off the top and is STUNNED yes STUNNED I say when she only gets two. I love idiotic wrestlers.
Wilde reverses the Implant Buster into a victory roll to get ANOTHER pin on Kong. Kong and Saed beat her up afterwards….and Abyss makes the save. Uh, reason? Black Hole Slam to Saed and we’re done here.
Rating: C-. At least they kept it short. Wilde was at least something new, but she more or less killed Kong’s character. She was hot though so she worked fine. She’s a good worker though so we need Rosie Lotta Love instead. Anyway, this wasn’t terrible but it’s far from good either.
Booker and Sharmell have dinner at Booker’s restaurant but Booker insists on making sure the portions are small and the drinks are watered down. Booker more or less says he’s the biggest businessman in Houston. Well they’re trying at least.
We get a 10 second look at NASA stuff. WOW.
Here’s a video package on Ultimate X. No commentary needed apparently.
Ultimate X: Kaz vs. Volador Jr. vs. Naruki Doi vs. Daivari
This is for four points apparently, so more or less the winner wins everything, making the entire previous three rounds totally pointless. Daivari is allegedly predictable in this. Ok then. West thinks Kaz is the favorite because of his experience letting him know that he’ll know how to win earlier. YOU CLIMB UP AND GRAB THE FREAKING X! How hard is this? Daivari wisely goes after Kaz’s arm.
That makes the most sense here if nothing else. Oh and only Kaz is a face here. We can’t have nice foreigners! West says Kaz is close to being a world champion. Oh the comedy! For about the 1000th time tonight we’re told about being allowed to vote for the stipulation tonight. WE GET IT!
Oh and also, great idea on telling us to stop watching your show so we can go get our computers to vote on something on the show later on. In other words, a stipulation for later on in the night is more important than the match you’re watching at the moment. Volador is pretty fun to watch. Kaz manages to get above the X and almost unhooks it but Daivari makes the save.
It worked as it’s not like Kaz had a long time up there like in a ladder match so it didn’t look completely ridiculous which is a very nice difference. Also he used his legs to get there so he kept selling the arm from earlier.
In a MIND BLOWING spot, Daivari is going across a cable with his back facing the ring so he’s looking up at the ceiling. Kaz climbs up to the metal thing that holds up the cables and JUMPS off of it, crashing down with a clothesline onto Daivari and killing himself in the process. That was INCREDIBLE. It also lets Volador go up and get the X for the win and the Cup.
Rating: B. This was another great high impact battle that worked perfectly for what it was supposed to do. I wasn’t sure who was going to win and I was thinking it would have been Team TNA but a surprise is always good. This was your usual crazy spotfest but it worked quite well.
Team Mexico accepts the trophy.
Booker T has a golf course and apparently is very good, even as good as Tiger Woods.
Frank Trigg is here and is doing commentary.
We recap Angle and the Dudleys vs. Christian, Rhyno and AJ. AJ accidentally married Karen. I know, I know. Just go with it. Kurt is pissed about it as Angle’s wife is sleeping with her husband AJ. See what I have to deal with here?
Kurt Angle/Team 3D vs. AJ Styles/Rhyno/Christian Cage
Team 3D beat up Christian and Rhyno to explain why they’re here. More or less it’s two feuds in one here to fill time. Eh I tend to hate that but I can live with it I guess. Dang AJ needs to be a face again. Angle hides at the broadcast table to jump AJ and it’s Full Metal Mayhem, which more or less is a TLC match where you win by pin.
Sweet goodness people is it THAT hard to keep a coherent camera shot? Trigg isn’t that great on commentary and I continue to wonder why he’s here. Angle goes off with a chair as this is just a total mess. AJ hits a sweet move as he jumps up to the top of a ladder with a springboard then off of it onto Bubba with a forearm. I LOVE that move. Christian goes up to the top of the Ultimate X structure and dives off.
You know that would have looked way better if we could have seen how far down he came if the camera hadn’t been above him. THAT is the stuff I have to deal with here. Rhyno gores everyone and of course can’t get a pin on anyone. So of course he takes a Doomsday Device through a table. What? You can’t see the clear transition there?
We’re just going from spot to spot here with no flow at all and it’s really very annoying. Christian blocks the running belly to belly and then gets 3D’d through a table. This match is making my head hurt. BUBBA HITS A SUPERKICK! AND NOT A BAD ONE AT THAT! AJ has been 3-1 for like 4 minutes now.
He needs better partners. He puts both Dudleys through tables and hits the Styles Clash for two on Angle. And here’s Johnny Devine. WHERE ARE CHRISTIAN AND RHYNO??? Angle Slam gets two. Angle shoves Hebner and of course he hurts his ankle.
Can we get a strong referee? AJ sets up a table and a ladder but Trigg hits AJ with a kendo stick and Angle gets the Slam through a table for the pin. Literally, Christian and Rhyno were nowhere to be seen for at least 5 minutes straight at the end and the whole thing was 15 minutes.
Rating: D. This was the biggest mess I’ve seen in a long time. There was no flow anywhere near this as it was just spot after spot. Also, Christian and Rhyno being gone for that long is ridiculous. If they wanted to do AJ vs. Angle then they should have done AJ vs. Angle. Just a total mess but there were some good spots in there. Plus, Bubba doing a superkick is hilarious stuff.
Joe says he’s not afraid and tells Nash to stay in the back. He’s the mentor that of course is going to turn on him later on.
TNA World Title: Samoa Joe vs. Booker T
They’re trying to make this an epic match but I’m not getting the Austin/Rock vibes here. And now let’s have another video package. Now let’s watch both of them walk from the back. Why can’t Joe be this much of a monster now? We hear the beginning of his music and go to ANOTHER video about Joe. Seriously, is this necessary? Also why did he put the belt on his other shoulder during the video?
We get the IF JOE WINS WE RIOT sign. No, you won’t. See, in ECW it’s effective because they would have actually rioted. These people won’t and they know it. To kill more time we do big match intros. They chop it out and we’re just in the feeling out stages of course.
The fans are about 80% behind Booker here which is exactly what you would expect of him. We hit the floor and Booker takes over and busts Joe open. We’re at shot of Sharmell #8 after less than ten minutes. This is far from epic but it’s not bad I guess. Joe goes aerial a bit which wasn’t bad. There’s a lot of striking in the middle of the ring here and there goes the referee.
That’s so clichéd it’s not even funny anymore. We head to the floor for more chops and strikes that aren’t anything special. Joe does get a nice Ole Kick on the floor (Youtube it). Ok, we know what Sharmell looks like. We don’t need to see her every 18 seconds. Joe gets slapped by her and beats up her body guards. Oh and the referee is still down and hasn’t moved and therefore could be dead but no one checks on him. Great guys in TNA.
Booker is busted too. Ah there’s a second referee. Joe beats both of the other referees up. They were kind of going for an Austin/Taker insanity thing here and it’s not working really. The idea is he can’t beat Booker and he’s snapping and just beating the tar out of him for it.
Security hits the ring and down they go. Sharmell is in the ring as I know where this is going. He puts Booker in a choke and Sharmell screams for help. And cue Sting. There’s Bound for Glory’s main event. Sting gets him to leave and then he goes back to the ring to beat on Booker more.
Joe flips him off and says F you which earns him some bat shots. West asking why Sting is doing this cracks me up. Sharmell counts a three and Booker takes the belt. That would set up a cage match between Booker and Joe next month. The announcers being in SHOCK, yes SHOCK I say, ends it.
Rating: C-. While I’ve seen far worse, this wasn’t much at all. The whole insane brawling was a bit much and Joe snapping like that sucked. It set up next month and Bound For Glory even better but at the same time it was just boring. Joe was still decent here and the crowd was white hot though so points for that. Like I said, I’ve seen worse.
Overall Rating: D+. This wasn’t much, although it was better than the previous year’s show by far. The key thing here is that something actually happened. We ended the World X Cup, we move forward in the Joe/Booker feud as well as the Sting feud.
Angle vs. AJ is more or less set for Hard Justice and we had some new angles open up. Now don’t get me wrong: the show mostly sucked, but there’s a point to it which is the most important thing here. Not terrible, but the X Cup stuff is worth seeing if you’re bored and want something a bit different. The rest, not so much.
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