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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Victory Road PPV Report
July 15, 2007
By: James Caldwell, Torch columnist
They opened with a video package on the Match of Champions match between Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe vs. Team 3D. Focus was on Angle vs. Brother Ray and Ray not respecting Angle since the day he stepped into TNA.
Live in the arena, the Ultimate X was set up with the giant red "X" hanging from the structure. Christopher Daniels was the first man out for the ten-man gauntlet match. Jay Lethal came out next. And Daniels jumped Lethal from behind to start things off.
1 -- ULTIMATE X GAUNTLET MATCH
Daniels choked Lethal against the ropes to start things off. Don West said they're using the Elevation X structure instead of the regular Ultimate X structure because of how many men are going to be in the ring. Puma came out as the third competitor. He attacked Lethal from behind and accepted an elbow smash for his trouble. He went for a suplex, but Lethal blocked and Puma hit a kick to the face. Homicide came out as the fourth wrestler in the match. He didn't get into the ring right away, though, and simply waited for a good opening to attack Lethal. Homicide dropped Lethal with an Ace Crusher, then he played to the crowd and got a big pop. The Guru Sonjay Dutt came out fifth. He's found a new inner peace, said West. Dutt cleared the ring, then the video went out momentarily. Petey Williams came out sixth. He caught Daniels and Puma with a dual Russian legsweep, then went for the Destroyer on Homicide, but Puma gave him a kick to the face. Petey dropped him with the Canadian Destroyer for good measure, then eliminated him over the top rope. The plants in the front row went nuts after the C.D. Petey was then eliminated. Shark Boy came out as the seventh participant. Elix Skipper made his return as the eighth man. Big "welcome back" chant from the fans. Skipper dumped Shark Boy over the top rope for an elimination. Skipper then eliminated Dutt after flipping him over the top rope. Kaz, dressed normally, came out as the ninth participant. He cleared everyone with kick combos. Senshi came out as the tenth, and final, participant. As soon as Senshi's music hit, Kaz started climbing the structure to go for the X. We're down to Senshi, Kaz, Daniels, Homicide, Lethal, and Skipper.
Senshi and Kaz fought on the structure, and Senshi pounded Kaz down to the mat with kicks to the head. Senshi then climbed the structure American Gladiators style, but Daniels pulled him down. Daniels climbed the structure, but Kaz pulled him down at 10:00. Suddenly, there were four men in center of the structure. Skipper and Homicide worked together to pull the other four men down, then Homicide clotheslined Daniels to the mat. Random action broke out, with Daniels being the last man standing. He started climbing the structure with his arms and legs inside the trusses. Lethal made up ground and kicked Daniels's arms out from under. Daniels was hanging upside down, as a result, and Kazarian flew off the top rope with a sick Ace Crusher on Daniels as he hung upside down. Sweet spot made annoying by the plant fans desperate to create something huge. The action broke down, with Kaz and Skipper being the last two standing. They walked on top of the structure and met in the center, then stopped and stared down at the giant fall below. Both men teased falling down while touching the X hanging in the center. Neither man was able to grab it, then they crashed to the mat. The action quieted down until Skipper hit the Sudden Death on Senshi and Kaz hit the Wave of the Future on Skipper. Kaz then took Homicide up top and hit the Flux Capacitor. I haven't seen that since PWG two years ago. Daniels then chucked Kaz into the structure to the floor.
At 18:00, Lethal threw Daniels aside and started climbing the structure. He reached the center while Daniels started climbing the other side. Skipper then pulled Lethal down. Senshi and Skipper connected with a double team leg kick on Lethal. Meanwhile, Daniels crawled to the center of the structure and grabbed the X. He crashed down to the mat and came to his feet standing next to Skipper and Senshi. The fans recognized it, and just as we predicted on the C&R audio PPV preview, it's the reunion of Triple X.
WINNER: Daniels in 19:00 to become #1 Contender to the X Division Title. A lot of spots. Exciting moments. One good reunion. (***1/4)
Jeremy Borash found Team 3D backstage for an interview on the Match of Champions match. Brother Devon interrupted and spoke first. Ray wasn't sure what to make of it. Yes, tension between Team 3D, as expected. Devon said he's waited 15 long years to become World Champion. He told Angle to be prepared for when he pins him to become champion. Ray said he's speechless. He hasn't seen Devon this excited since he found out Paris Hilton was down with the brown. Ray then guaranteed that Devon, Joe, and Angle aren't winning because he's winning the X Division Title. He's the high-flying, technical specialist who invented the Asai Moonsault. Devon said a dream is a dream, but your dream is not coming true. "Neither is yours, because as far as you're concerned, you're not winning as long as you're in that ring," Ray said. Devon pulled him back and said he would do what he has to do. They had a staredown, then Borash tried to interject, but Ray shoved him down.
Leticia, wearing some goofy hat, interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. She asked Joe if he can trust Kurt Angle. Joe said he can't trust him, but Angle's shortcomings won't prevent him from pinning one of the Team 3D partners. He said he's going to expose Angle as the mark that he is, and he'll know one thing that he is Samoa Joe, the TNA X Division champion and Angle will be broken.
Tenay and West broke down the PPV card ringside to allow for some breathing room after the opening match.
Backstage again, Leticia interviewed B.G. James and Kip James. B.G. said he's glad upper management has come down on man on woman violence, so they brought in a surprise opponent from New Orleans for Christy Hemme. Kip then talked about the official breakdown on Lance Hoyt. He said he's sticking his boot up Hoyt's ass.
Christy Hemme and Lance Hoyt led the Bashams to ringside while making out. B.G. and Kip then came out and B.G. did his usual intro. He then brought out the newest member of VKM: the Voodoo Queen from New Orleans. Some woman named Roxxi LaVeaux slithered out on stage wearing a gypsy outfit. Is this a rib? Christy had this look of confusion on her face. The fans chanted, "What is that?" Kip held the ropes open for Roxxi to step through into the ring. West said the woman looks half-crazy. It wouldn't be a TNA PPV without at least one WrestleCrap moment.
2 -- BASHAM & DAMAJA (w/Christy Hemme and Lance Hoyt) vs. VKM (B.G. JAMES & KIP JAMES)
B.G. ran over the Bashams to start things off, then B.G. knocked Hoyt off the apron. Christy tried to resuscitate Hoyt with a liplock. They went to the TNA Mobile texting deal for who will win the Match of Champions match. Kip took control at 2:00, then Hoyt grabbed his foot from the outside. It didn't faze Kip too long, so he gave chase on the outside. Christy suddenly entered the ring when Hoyt returned to the ring. She slapped Kip on the face, then Roxxi tried to enter the ring, but Earl Hebner got the heat by holding her back. The Bashams then knocked B.G. to the outside for Hoyt to work him over. Back in the ring, they worked on B.G. as the fans chanted, "Boring". Kip actually led the cheers from the apron. B.G. then avoided Basham's diving headbutt and tagged out to Kip, who cleaned house. Hoyt then slid a chair into the ring and Kip picked it up. Hoyt took advantage by kicking the chair into Kip's head behind the ref's back. Damaja made a cover, but Kip kicked out. Hoyt argued with the ref, which allowed B.G. to use the chair on Damaja. Kip then covered Damaja for the win.
After the match, Christy screamed at Hoyt for screwing up, so she sent him back into the ring. B.G. then clotheslined Hoyt over the top rope to the floor. Christy entered the ring and tried to slap Kip, but Kip grabbed her and brought in Roxxi. She shook and she shook, but was unsuccessful at the shimmy. Kip then threw Christy into Roxxi, who hit a Dominator on Christy.
WINNERS: VKM in 7:00. A boring match, if you ask Kip. Roxxi needs to watch some Papa Shango tapes to understand the intricacies of the demon-possessed gimmick. (1/4*)
Backstage, Kurt Angle was interviewed by Borash. He said Joe and Team 3D both said the same thing about Angle not winning the match tonight. Angle said he can't help that he was born great, so Joe should be mad at his mother for giving birth to him. He said it's not going to be a three-on-one match, as he's bringing back-up. He said it would be shake and break time tonight (complete with hand motions).
They aired a video package on the Rhino vs. James Storm feud. James Storm then came to the ring with Jackie Moore. Tenay told us the sob story about Rhino's family, then Rhino charged the ring and scared the heels away. Referee Rudy Charles then gave Jackie the boot from ringside before the opening bell. Storm and Jackie tried to talk strategy after Jackie got the boot, so Rhino took the fight to the outside and threw him into the guardrails. Rhino dumped Storm on the entrance ramp, then threw him over the guardrail to the floor ringside. They fought into the bleachers, then Rhino pushed a young girl away as she tried to get camera time. Rhino slammed Storm into the base of the stands, then a fan handed him a beer bottle. He held the bottle, then tossed it into the crowd. Rhino dumped Storm back over the guardrail to ringside and they continued to brawl ringside. Rhino then took Storm into the ring and the bell sounded.
3 -- RHINO vs. JAMES STORM (w/Jackie Moore)
Rhino ran over Storm with a hard clothesline right out of the gate, then he went to the second rope, but Storm dumped him off the top rope to the floor below. Storm took control of the match, working on Rhino's neck and back. Storm then tossed Rhino over the top rope to the floor and wiped his hands of Rhino. He followed on the outside and landed a right hand blow. Back in the ring, Storm sat down on a reverse chinlock in center ring. He was unsuccessful on a few pin attempts, so he went under the ring and picked up a beer bottle. The referee reprimanded him, then he put the bottle down and caught Rhino with a double foot kick to the face. He went up top, but Rhino crotched him and landed a superplex for a nearfall. And then we have a ref bump at 7:00 when Storm ducked a clothesline and the ref took the blow. Storm took advantage by grabbing the beer bottle as Rhino set up the Gore. Rhino charged Storm, but Storm met him with a beer bottle smash across the face. Storm made the cover and the referee awoke to make a three count.
After the match, we saw Rhino's face busted wide open. Storm then pulled out a white noose and tied Rhino's arms behind his back against the middle ropes. Jackie Moore then came to the ringside with a keg and camera in her hands. Storm landed a chair shot to the face while Rhino was tied up, then Storm opened the keg and poured the beer into Rhino's mouth. Jackie took a picture of Rhino hung up in the ropes, then Jackie posed in front of Rhino and Storm took a picture. Refs tried to hold Storm back, but Storm kept going back for more. Storm appeared to be ready to leave, but he grabbed another chair and cracked Rhino across the face. Rhino was expressionless as Storm left with a vile look on his face.
WINNER: Storm in 8:00. Decent match, but the post-match beating from Storm was the story. That's a money segment if TNA plays its cards right and doesn't shove the beating under the rug like they did with Christian's Coalition on Abyss a few months ago. (**)
Backstage, Leticia interviewed Jerry Lynn and Mr. Backlund. Lynn said it's always been about respect, and they're not trying to hang onto the past, but honor the old style of wrestling. He said the video games, profanity, and attitude of the rookies needs to end. Backlund talked about being a family unit because they believe in no drugs, no cheating, no lying, and no throwing garbage on their country. Backlund screamed about fighting for the moms, dads, and children. It's Backlund.
Kevin Nash led Shelley and Sabin to the ring. Nash's hair changes with every PPV. Lynn and Backlund then came to the ring. Tenay talked about the old school men having over 100 years of life experience. Not too flattering. Nash was reading Backlund's diary ringside before the match.
4 -- MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY w/Kevin Nash) vs. MR. BACKLUND & JERRY LYNN
Sabin put Backlund in a full nelson hold in the opening minute, but Backlund countered into a full nelson of his own. Shelley took a tag, then Lynn took a tag. Shelley accidentally kicked Sabin in the face with an enziguiri, then Shelley tried to break up a pin on Sabin, but Lynn moved and Sabin took the blow. Lynn went for a cradle piledriver on Sabin, but Shelley spewed water in Lynn's eyes. Sabin kicked Backlund off the apron, then Shelley and Sabin danced circles around Lynn. The new school heels settled into an offensive attack on Lyn, then Backlund took a tag, but the ref didn't allow it since he was distracted by some sort of belt that was thrown into the ring. The heels hung Lynn upside down in the corner, then hit combo dropkicks to Lynn's head. Backlund entered the ring without a tag and cleaned house. Referee didn't do anything about Backlund entering the ring without a tag. Backlund gave Sabin an overhead slam and Sabin caught Lynn unexpectedly in the back of the leg on the way down. Could have been an injury for Lynn. Nash then entered the ring and knocked over Lynn with a big boot, leading to a pin for the win.
WINNERS: Sabin & Shelley in 10:00. New school heels were much more over than the faces here. Decent action with the usual inconsistency in officiating from TNA. (*3/4)
Backstage, Borash followed Angle around backstage looking for help. He approached Jay Lethal in the restroom about watching his back in the main event. Lethal thought he said wash your back. Angle then asked Lethal if he'd like to be World champion. Angle placed his IWGP and TNA title belts on Lethal's shoulders. Lethal got a good look at himself in the mirror, then Angle jumped him and threw him into a shower stall.
They aired a video package on the Roode vs. Young feud.
5 -- ROBERT ROODE & MS. BROOKS vs. ERIC YOUNG & GAIL KIM
The action broke down early on, then Young kissed Brooks on the lips. The heels recovered on the floor, then Young hit a suicide dive on Roode. Gail followed with a rough plancha on Brooks's face on the floor. Back in the ring, Gail slammed Brooks into the turnbuckles. Gail then squared off with Roode, who took a tag. Gail landed a forearm blow, then tagged in Young, who worked on Roode until Brooks tripped Young from behind. She then rammed Young crotch-first into the ringpost. The heels took control and exchanged tags working on Young. Brooks missed a corner clothesline, then Young made the hot tag to Gail, who cleaned house. She then went up top for a huracanrana on Roode, but Roode sat down on a Boston Crab. Young made the save, though, with a DDT. The women brawled in the ring and Gail hit a top rope missile dropkick. Gail then used Roode against Brooks before teaming up with Young for a double dropkick on Roode. Gail made the cover on Brooks for the win.
Afterward, Roode snapped and threw a chair around ringside. He chased the faces from ringside. Roode then screamed at Brooks for screwing everything up. She left the ring after being slapped a few times, then Young became quite concerned. He ran back into the ring from behind and pansted Roode, revealing a thong. Young then ran back out of the ring to avoid Roode's wrath. The fans laughed at Roode while Brooks backed away from ringside.
WINNERS: Young & Gail in 9:00. Another Roode vs. Young match and another Young victory. Time to move on. Good action with the crowd into the story. (*3/4)
Backstage, Borash interviewed Christian Cage with Styles and Tomko. He talked about his match against Chris Harris. Christian said he's been on top since the day he walked through the door. He said he has everything a wrestler needs to be a top star in the business. Christian said there's room for only one leading man in TNA. Styles was concerned while Tomko was annoyed. Christian said Styles has potential. Tomko grabbed Styles by the shirt and told them they have a match tonight. Angle interrupted and said he needs to talk to Christian. He said his partner, Joe, is out to get him and he needs help. Christian said they have their own problems to deal with, so no can do. Christian led his boys away.
Sonjay Dutt interrupted all smiles with a tambourine. He asked for a donation to a virus in Africa. Angle told him not to smile at him. Dutt kept smiling, then Angle screamed at him that if he wasn't in TNA, there would be TNA, which means Dutt wouldn't have a job. Dutt said the old Sonjay would have thought of that as a threat of violence, but not anymore. He pitched for a donation, then Angle took off his sunglasses and grabbed the tambourine. He teased giving a donation before slamming it over Dutt's head. He then chucked him into a locker and landed right hand blows while saying here...is...your...donation...you...stupid...bastard. Hilarious and great all at the same time. Angle then left after leaving Dutt KO'ed on the floor.
They aired a video package on Chris Harris.
6 -- CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. CHRIS HARRIS
They started in the ring, but quickly moved to the outside where Harris dumped Christian back-first on the entrance ramp. Christian recovered and shoved Harris crotch-first into the ringpost before coming off the top rope with an elbow smash to the face. They spilled back to the outside and Christian tried to use a chair, but the ref yanked it away from him. Harris then whipped Christian knee-first into the ring steps before throwing him back into the ring. Harris accepted a round of slaps to the face before powering up to land left-arm punches and a clothesline. They fought up top and Christian landed a front face suplex down to the mat for a nearfall. They teased finishing holds before Harris caught Christian with his own Unprettier finisher for a nearfall. Harris then missed with a corner dive and Christian caught him with the Unprettier for a nearfall. Christian suddenly ripped off a corner turnbuckle before walking into a catapult into the exposed steel. Harris followed with a full nelson slam for another nearfall. They did the spot where the heel surprised the babyface with a chair shot to the head as the babyface put his head through the ropes to grab the heel. Dustin Rhodes then walked out on stage and distracted Christian. Tomko ran to ringside to distract the ref, then Rhodes ran into the ring and clocked Harris in the back with handcuffs. Of course, they missed the camera shot of Rhodes attacking Harris from behind. Christian rolled up Harris, then the ref came back around to make a three count.
WINNER: Christian Cage in 13:00. Brawling, nearfalls, and outside interference. Standard TNA PPV match. They used an easy formula to guarantee a decent match. (**1/2)
Backstage, Sting and Abyss stood with Borash. Sting said it took a long time to form the tag team after all the tacks, tables, and blood spilled. He said he's passing the torch from one veteran to the man who will change wrestling. Abyss, grasping his barbed wire bat after cutting his hands, cut a promo. "Tomko. Styles. Your blood. My hands. Tonight. Click. Doomsday."
Styles and Tomko came out first. Showing unity as a tag team, Abyss and Sting came out to separate ring entrances.
7 -- A.J. STYLES & TOMKO vs. STING & ABYSS
Early on, Styles played the cocky, undersized man in a fight, landing kicks and punches on Abyss before dancing around the ring to avoid Abyss. He then went for a cross body block, but he merely bounced off Abyss's chest to the mat. Tomko took a tag then went face-to-face with Abyss. Sting then blind tagged himself into the match and squared off with Tomko. Sting landed Scorpion Splashes on Styles and Tomko before bringing in Abyss, who ran over the heels with corner splashes. He then dropped Tomko with a big boot to the face for a nearfall. They fought on the floor and Tomko slammed Abyss into the guardrail before working on him in the ring. They had a mid-ring collision at 7:00, then Styles took a tag and ran off Abyss's back and punched Sting in the face to prevent a face hot tag. Sting eventually took the tag and clotheslined Tomko to the floor. He then landed ten punches on Styles before Styles slid out and dropped Sting across the top turnbuckle. The action spilled to the outside with everyone on the floor except for Sting, who readied himself on the top turnbuckle and flew down onto everyone. The viewers didn't see Sting nail Tomko with a chair shot, as they were showing a replay, but apparently, the ref let the chair shot go. Back in the ring, Styles with a great combo of leap frog, drop down, and flying dropkick on Sting for a close nearfall. Styles went for a top rope huracanrana, but Sting grabbed the top rope to block the move. He then landed a flying clothesline at 13:00. Abyss took a tag and threw Styles high into the air before chokeslamming Tomko. He made a cover for a nearfall. The action broke down. In the ring, Abyss with the Shock Treatment torture rack back breaker on Styles. Tomko then snuck in and gave Abyss a two-hand slam for a nearfall. Sting slipped in and put Tomko in the Scorpion Deathlock, and Tomko tapped out, but Styles had the ref distracted. Styles then hit a springboard dive onto Abyss, knocking Abyss into Sting. Sting went for a clothesline on Tomko, but Tomko moved and Abyss caught Tomko with the Black Hole Slam for the win.
Afterward, Abyss and Sting held each other's arms in the air in victory. James Mitchell then emerged from the top of the ramp and said how touching that was. He said they should enjoy their victory while they can, as there are debts to be repaid. Mitchell said the Doomsday Clock is ticking. He laughed maniacally as Abyss showed fear in the ring.
WINNERS: Sting & Abyss in 16:00. Good TNA formula match that predictably broke down into Texas Tornado style-fighting. The whole show has followed the usual TNA PPV formula, which isn't bad or good. Just par for the course. (**3/4)
They aired the silly Wrestlers Are Machines video package to hype the Match of Champions match. Tenay and West broke down the main event title match with the tale of the tape.
Team 3D came out first for the main event. Samoa Joe then did the Samoan dance entrance, but without joining in the dancing. They cut backstage where Kurt Angle was shown leaving his locker. Very quiet hallway. He then approached Martyr and Havok, who were sitting in a dark corner. They laughed at the thought of backing him up in his match tonight. He casually placed his belts down, then proceeded to beat the crap out of them. They cut back to the arena and Angle emerged for his entrance. Borash handled the formal ring intros as the TNA referee staff held all the belts. Team 3D had barely any crowd reaction other than some scattered boos. Joe was the obvious fan favorite. Angle with boos and some positive whistles. The fans chanted, "Angle sucks" before the bell sounded.
8 -- TNA Hvt. champion KURT ANGLE & X Division champion SAMOA JOE vs. TNA Tag champions TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON)
Devon and Joe started things off and Devon landed right hand blows as Joe tried to cover up. Tenay revealed the final results of the text voting: Joe won again with 38 percent and Angle came in second with 36 percent. Angle took a tag, then Ray took a tag from Devon. Angle went for amateur holds on Ray, then Ray used his wide body to ram Angle into the corner turnbuckle, rearranging Angle's singlet. He then answered with a German suplex on Ray before tagging in Joe, who landed right hand jabs on Ray. Devon took a tag, then Joe/Angle exchanged tags working over Devon. After a few minutes, Devon took brief control and had a pin on Angle, but Ray entered the ring and pushed Devon off the pin. Devon and Ray had a brief argument, allowing Angle to tag out to Joe, who accepted a Rock Bottom from Joe. Devon then returned the favor by shoving Ray off Joe. The fan chanted for Devon, then Devon put a finger on Ray's chest and Ray answered with a hard shove to the mat. Ray then bailed from ringside before returning to the ring for a low blow on Joe behind the ref's back. Ray and Devon then hugged each other, as if they were just ribbing everyone about the teased break up. Would have worked to set up the finish, but came across overdone in the middle of the match. Team 3D worked on Joe in their corner while Ray continued to get booed. Joe came back with a leaping knee strike from the middle rope and went for a tag to Angle, but Ray ran across the ring and knocked Angle off the apron before slapping Joe in the face. Joe made a comeback at 14:00 and tagged out to Angle, who cleaned house. Angle dropped the straps and went for the Olympic Slam on Ray, but Devon pulled Ray down and they tried to set up the diving headbutt to Angle's crotch, but Joe crotched Devon. The action broke down and Joe executed an impressive DVD on Ray for a nearfall. Angle then caught Devon with a moonsault, but Ray made the save with a slap to Angle's back as he made a cover. Team 3D called for the tables, but Angle and Joe caught them from behind with ankle locks. Neither one tapped, then Ray broke free. Angle accidentally smashed Joe in the face with a clothesline. Angle then turned around and met the 3D. Devon had the pin, but Rick Steiner came to ringside and pulled the ref out of the ring. Scott Steiner then snuck into the ring and smashed Ray with a pipe shot to the face. Angle hit the Olympic Slam on Ray, but Joe undercut Angle just like the reverse on Impact. Joe picked up the scraps and pinned Ray for the win to capture the TNA Tag Titles. Afterward, Joe held the X Division and Tag Titles over Ray's fallen body as Angle held his leg in pain.
WINNER: Joe in 18:00 to capture the TNA Tag Titles. The usual outside interference in a TNA PPV main event, per the formula, but a very dramatic final five minutes capped off by Joe turning the tables on Angle. This was TNA's way of having Joe win a big main event PPV match to show the fans that their text message votes aren't going to waste, but without ever giving Joe that big World Title match victory. Sets up the next chapter in the endless saga of Joe vs. Angle. (***1/2)
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "TNA PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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