KELLER'S TNA VICTORY ROAD PPV REPORT 7/19: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, nitpicks, and quotebook
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA VICTORY ROAD PPV REPORT
JULY 19, 2009
LIVE FROM ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON PAY-PER-VIEW
-They opened with the usual highfalutin gibberish that ads up to nothing but a "feeling" that maybe something super important is about to happen or be achieved in the next three hours. A lot of talk about "I will become."
(1) Angelina Love (w/Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne) pinned Tara to capture the TNA Knockouts Title in 8:00. Tara went on offense at the start. She took shots at Sky and Rayne at ringside. That gave Love an opening to take control. She rammed Tara into the ring apron edge and then threw her back into the ring and sorta hit a basement dropkick for a two count. Tara hit the standing moonsault at 6:00 for a near fall. Sky jumped onto the ring apron. Tara went over to her and slapped her. Love held Tara who sprayed their direction, but Tara ducked and Love took the shot to the eyes. Tara rolled her up, but the ref was busy ordering Sky and Rayne to the back. By the time he made the count, Love was able to kick out. Tara subsequently went for a top rope moonsault, but Love moved. Love then went for the cover and the ref counted to three, but Tara's foot was on the bottom rope. The ref didn't see it and declared Love the winner. (*1/4)
Afterward, Tara explained to the ref her foot was on the rope. He said his decision was final, so she kicked him. She then gave Love her finisher and pulled out her tarantula, Poison. Rayne and Sky pulled her to safety, so she turned to the ref as the crowd chanted for her to put the spider on him. She set it on his chest. He saw it and freaked out and begged for her to get it off of him.. It crawled down his leg. She picked up the spider and the ref rolled to the floor. She then let the spider crawl on her arm and hand.
They went to West and Tenay at ringside who previewed the rest of the event.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Kurt Angle. He looked at the camera and told the fans, "I want to warn everyone watching, do not expect a quality pay-per-view match from me tonight, because you're not going to get one." He said he's going to maul Mick Foley later. He said he doesn't care what Foley has done in the business or his charity work or entertaining the troops. He said all he cares about is being the best. He turned to Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Scott Steiner elsewhere in the locker room. He said he will fire any of them who don't win their match tonight. He said he wants total domination.
(2) Matt Morgan pinned (Christopher) Daniels in 11:00. Morgan tossed Daniels over the top rope at the start. He threw Daniels into the ringside security railing. Tenay said the new referee is Jamie Tucker. West said he looks like Richie Cunningham. Back in the ring Daniels took over with a dropkick of the ropes, but Morgan shoulder tackled him to the mat seconds later. Daniels hit a split-legged moonsault onto Morgan at ringside which popped the crowd and knocked Morgan off his feet for the first time in the match at 4:00. Daniels landed awkwardly on his left leg seconds later, and Morgan capitalized and drove Daniels into the ring apron edge. Morgan set up a sideslam at 6:00, but checked his "watch" and held Daniels in the air, then just let go. Daniels yelled in pain as Morgan decided to go for a leg twist instead. Daniels made a comeback and hit a top rope crossbody block for a near fall leading to two near falls. Daniels used a crucifix next for another near fall. West said Morgan won't delay the Hellivator next time. Morgan went for a big boot, but Daniels avoided and slammed Morgan for another two count at 9:00. Daniels hit a DDT for another two count a minute later. When he went for the BME, his sore leg gave out. Morgan then caught Daniels with the Carbon Footprint. He followed up with the Hellivator for the win. Tenay said the "power and intelligence" of Morgan led to victory. Intelligence? He delayed doing his finisher for no reason whatsoever earlier and they spent the match second-guessing that decision. (**)
Borash interviewed Dr. Stevie Richards and Daffney. Richards said "Chris" (Abyss) is like a panting he's been working on for a decade. He said he's made little dabs and strokes here and there over the years. He said he has no choice but to make this match no-DQ. Daffney's facial expressions were hilarious. How did Borash keep a straight face? Stevie said he owns Abyss mind, body, and soul. He said everyone will find out who the patient is and who the doctor is. Daffney told Stevie, "I love you." He said, "I know."
(3) Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie Richards. Abyss walked out in his new ring outfit, no longer wearing the insane asylum outfit. It's a hooded jacket with a vest. Stevie took early advantage with a security baton or, as West called it, a telescope blackjack. He choked him with it. Abyss came back and fought him up and down the ramp, then threw him into the security railing. Back in the ring Abyss no-sold some of Stevie's chops. Abyss fired back with a chop of his own that dropped Stevie instantly. West said he's amazed that the crowd is so blood-thirsty. Abyss tossed Stevie over the top rope to the floor. Stevie tried to retreat into the crowd. Abyss caught up to him and fought him in the aisle. They brawled back to ringside. The crowd chanted "One more time!" and Abyss threw him into a wall one more time. He threw Stevie into the ringside steps. Stevie came up bleeding heavily. West said the bloodthirsty crowd got what they wanted. Abyss bashed Stevie's bloodied head repeatedly into the steps. Back in the ring at 8:00, Abyss ripped off Stevie's white shirt and chopped his bare chest hard. The crowd oohed and ahhed. They again chanted, "One more time!" He obliged. Abyss wedged a chair into the corner and threw Stevie into it. Abyss then lifted Stevie onto his shoulders and gave him his Shock Treatment backbreaker finisher for the apparent win. Abyss, though, raised his shoulders. Daffney came to ringside and had a taser in hand. That distracted Abyss. Stevie gave Abyss a low blow. Lauren ran to ringside and yanked her to the floor. Lauren ran over to check on Abyss. Stevie, meanwhile, grabbed the taser gun and charged at Abyss. Abyss caught him and gave him the Black Hole Slam, though. Abyss then tasered Stevie in the chest. It smoked as he zapped him and Stevie shook. Abyss scored the pin. Tenay said you hear smell the burning flesh. West said, "I hope you're proud of your boy, Mike." Tenay said after all he's put up with from Stevie, it's a feel-good moment. It did exactly what that match needed to do. Lots of bag-o-tricks to get them through the match without a lot of actual bumps, but the tone of the match fit the feud. (**)
Foley told Beer Money inc. and A.J. Styles that if the belts all end up in the hands of the Main Event Mafia, all of their jobs are at risk. He said tonight is all about the belts. Foley said he might not have been the best boss in the world, but at least he didn't mess with their jobs. Foley said Nash is going to try to exploit his temper. He told Beer Money they're facing two legendary tag team wrestler with tons of experience. He said they need to do it for TNA.
(4) Team 3D defeated The British Invasion (Doug Williams & Brutus Magnus w/Rob Terry) in 10:00. for the IWGP Tag Team Titles. Tenay said if Team 3D lose the IWGP Tag Team Titles, they'll lose out on the paydays that come with those Japanese tours defending the tag titles. The Brits took a beating early, but came back and isolated Team 3D afterward. At 6:00 Brother Ray caught a charging Magnus with a spear of sorts. Both men were slow to get up. Ray hot-tagged Devon just as Magnus hot-tagged Williams. Devon battled both Brits and got the upper-hand. Magnus broke up a pin attempt on Devon. He backdropped Magnus over the top rope. Ray tagged in and they gave a 3D to Williams for a near fall. They set up the What's Up headbutt and Devon hit it. Time for the tables. The crowd chanted for tables as Devon pulled it out from under the ring. Terry hit Devon from behind with a forearm. Devon went down like he was hit with an axe. The Brits then took control on Ray on the ring. Ray got in the ring to stop a Brother Ray attempt at a Bubba Bomb. Team 3D cleared the ring of him and then finished Magnus with a 3D. (**)
Afterward, Sheik Abdul Bashir and Kyoshi attacked Team 3D. Team 3D came back and gave Bashir a powerbomb off the ropes through a table, giving the crowd the tables spot they wanted.
West and Tenay said they wanted to get an explanation on the controversy in the opening match. Lauren interviewed ref Slick Johnson about his decision costing Tara her title. Slick said he made a mistake and cost Tara the Knockouts Title. He said he feels terrible, but he's only human and mistakes are going to be made. He said he was out of position. He said the ref's decision is final. He said he's going to go to Jim Cornette and recommend she get a rematch at the appropriate time.
(5) Jenna (w/Awesome Kong, Ryesha Saeed) pinned Sharmell (w/Sojo Bolt). Jenna wore a very revealing bottom. Sharmell wore a boyd-covering blue evening dress type outfit. The feathery parts that lined the bottom of her dress began falling off. The crowd grew impatient a couple minutes in with what sounded like a "boring" chant. Kong chased Sojo around the ring after Sojo interfered. Jenna threw some really lousy-looking slaps that drew even more catcalls and impatience from the crowd. Jenna showed good energy with her shouting and body language, but the wrestling was just dismal. Sojo stood on the ring apron, but Jenna shoved Shamell into her, sending Sojo into Kong at ringside. Jenna pulled out a Sharmell extension. She gave it to Kong. Sharmell wanted it back and held her hand out, asking for it. Kong instead punched her. Jenna then danced over Sharmell's body and gyrated her crotch over her face, then scored the pin. Kong held Jenna on her shoulder afterward. Jenna, though, began throwing some sort of fit and she "slapped" Kong. Tenay wondered what she was complaining about. Kong yanked her down by her hair and splashed her. (neg. **)
Borash interviewed Nash who said the guys Foley tried to rally are still in the same place they were when they got there six years ago. Nash said Angle has the troops ready and tonight is their night because if they don't win, he loses his job.
(6) Kevin Nash pinned A.J. Styles in 10:00 to win the Legends Title. Tenay said the longer the match goes, the more it benefits Styles. Tenay then brought up Nash's numerous knee surgeries. Styles got an early advantage, so Nash bailed to the ringside. Styles teased diving onto Nash. Back in the ring Nash threw some elbows at Styles in the corner. Tenay said Nash compared Styles's in-ring ability to Shawn Michaels in their sit-down interview, although he said it was edited out due to time. West defended Nash for saying he's in it for the money. West said he and Tenay are both in it for the money, but added that he doesn't make as much as Tenay does. West raved about the gems in the Legends Title. He said he heard it's worth $200,000. Nash knocked Styles off the ropes to the floor with a high boot. West said that showed Nash is still limber as a cat. Styles punched out of Nash's attempt at a Jackknife powerbomb and landed on him, scoring a two count. Styles went after Nash's legs and then took him to the mat with a right punch at 5:00. Styles concentrated on Nash's legs with stomps and then leglocks for two minutes. Styles hit a flying springboard forearm for a near fall at 9:00. Tenay stressed that if Nash were to have lost there, he'd be out of the MEM. Styles ducked a Nash punch and connected with the Pele kick for a near fall. Styles followed up with a springboard, but Nash turned it into a chokeslam for the pin. Styles hit the mat repeatedly in frustration. Not bad. Not great, but not bad. This is the night of acceptably decent matches (other than Jenna-Sharmell). (*1/2)
Lauren tried to get an interview with Love. Out of the shower area came Slick Johnson, who nervously said he was getting his spider bite looked at because it could get infected. A few seconds later Rayne walked out. She told Lauren to mind her own business and keep her mouth shut "or else." She ignored the camera that Lauren acknowledged in the same scene. Stupid.
(7) Scott Steiner & Booker T defeated Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) to capture the TNA Tag Team Titles in 12:00. Beer Money beat on Booker at the start. He tagged in Steiner at 2:00 and Steiner controlled the match for a minute. They fought to ringside. Booker threw James Storm into the security railing, then Steiner gave Storm a belly-to-belly for a near fall. Steiner dominated for the several minutes until Storm hot-tagged Roode at 9:00. Not much of a pop at all. Roode scored a near fall at 11:00. Storm sprayed Steiner in the face with a mouthful of beer. Beer Money then gave Steiner their Driving While Investing finisher. As the ref made the count, Booker yanked him to the floor. Booker claimed Storm yanked him out of the ring. The ref believed him even though it would have been no advantage for Storm to do that. Booker interfered against Roode and Steiner rolled him up for the pin. (*3/4)
Borash approached Booker at ringside to interview the new champs. Booker was elated and put his arms around Borash and Steiner and jabbered nonsense. Steiner said what happened here tonight is they said they were going to go out there and win the tag team titles and they did it. He said Angle is going to take Foley down. Just one more to go, he said.
Lauren interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. He said tonight everything changes and the mystery ends. He said for Sting, it is Showtime and tonight will be his final scene. Lauren made sure we knew that was a mysterious statement by Joe by acting ten times more confused and intrigued than any human being would have been in that instance. Her overacting seems to get worse every week.
(8) Samoa Joe beat Sting via tapout in 12:00. They fought in the ring briefly, then took it to the floor and crowd for some stand-up brawling. Joe suplexed Sting on the ramp. Back in the ring Sting took over briefly, but Joe tossed him back to the floor and then dove through the ropes with a flying forearm at Sting. Back in the ring Joe hit a nice spin roundkick to Sting's face. Joe applied a chinlock, threw some chops, and then settled into a sleeper. Sting elbowed out and charged at Joe, but Joe powerbombed him for a near fall. The kickout received no pop since it wasn't believable that Sting would lose there. Sting made a comeback and applied his Scorpion Deathlock. At that point, Taz's new music played and he walked to the ring. He wore a suit and a menacing expressing on his face. Joe powered outo f the hold or Sting let it go - it wasn't clear. Joe threw a bunch of punches at Sting. Sting fired back with an elbow and scored a one count. Sting climbed to the top rope and dove off with a clothesline for another one count. Taz just stood at ringside. Sting stood on the top rope. Joe knocked him off balance and set up the Muscle Buster. Sting fought it off. Joe instead applied a rear naked choke. Sting tapped out after about 20 seconds. (*3/4)
Tenay and West threw to clips of Bobby Lashley announcing on an ESPN radio interview that he has signed with TNA. They also aired him basically calling out or challenging Brock Lesnar. He said he's always wanted to come back to wrestling. He said until someone beats Brock Lesnar, nobody can say they can beat him. He said he is setting his sights on Brock, not because they both have backgrounds in wrestling, but because he is a heavyweight fighter and Brock is on top. Tenay called Lesnar a "difference-maker" and "one of the biggest signings ever for TNA."
Borash said everything is going the Mafia's way tonight. He said it all rests on his shoulders. Foley said he doesn't match up well with Angle. He said against every other opponent he can find a weakness, but Angle does have those types of weaknesses. He said at King of the Mountain when he dropped an elbow on him, Angle was motionless for a minute, so if he can tap into his offense, he can beat him. Nice to hear Foley talk about offensive ability that could help him win a match rather than reminiscing about his past injuries. Foley said he knows how to cause pain as well as anyone and exploit weaknesses. He said Angle is a weakened man due to the nerve damage in his shoulder and neck area. He said he is ready to exploit that. He said Angle has to find a way to beat him, and to do that he'll have to beat him...
(9) Kurt Angle defeated Mick Foley in 16:00 to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title. Foley locked up with Angle at the start mid-ring and powered Angle into the ropes. Angle followed up with a headlock. Foley powered out and elbowed Angle hard to the mat. Angle rolled to the floor to regroup. West said Foley is unpredictable and is willing to do anything, including putting his body on the line to get a win. Foley continued to get the better of Angle. West said Angle seems "not right" and seems too cautious. They fought on the floor and Foley continued to dominate. Foley legdropped Angle as he tried to enter the ring. Foley snapped his throat over the top rope next. At 4:00 Angle threw some punches to take Foley down and then choked him across the middle rope. He settled into a chinlock. Foley powered out, threw some punches, and then catapulted Angle over the top rope to the floor. Foley set up a piledriver, but Angle backdropped out of it. Foley's legs hit the ring steps as he landed. West continued to say it's as if Angle got hurt early and hasn't been himslf. Angle threw Foley into the ringside steps several times, then kicked him in the face. He rolled into the ring to break the count. Angle limped over to Foley and stomped on his leg a few times. They took turns with mat holds for a few minutes. Angle went for a moonsault, but Foley moved. Foley then hit a DDT for a two count. He pulled out the sock next and went for the Mandible Claw. Angle ducked and shoved Foley into the ref, then gave him a low blow and an Angle Suplex for a near fall. He went to ringside, favoring his injured groin. He brought a chair into the ring. Foley caught him with the Mandible Claw. Angle rolled to the floor. Foley leaped off the ring apron with a flying elbow. He rolled Angle into the ring and went for the pin. Angle lifted his shoulder at the last possible split-second. Foley then attempted a submission on of his own - a leg scissors and Mandible Claw combination. Angle's arm almost dropped three times, but he escaped eventually and then applied his anklelock. Foley reached the bottom rope to force a break. Angle re-applied it and Foley tapped out. (**1/2)
The Main Event Mafia celebrated together with all of their titles. Tenay said this is the worst-case scenario. West said they do have all of the power in TNA now.
Tenay and West reviewed the events of the evening as highlights aired of each of the match finishes. This was a nice touch to drive home the newsworthy happenings on the show so it didn't have the feeling of being instantly forgotten.
THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS
TARA VS. LOVE: Not a standout match, but in eight minutes with the outside interference aspects, it didn't really leave Love and Tara time to tell their own story... Tara hitting the ref, of course, should result in a fine or suspension. West at least brought up that she should be fined for that. Hitting refs should always be treated like a big deal by the promotion so that when it happens or almost happens or a wrestler just threatens a ref, there is heat generated from the anticipated consequences. If Tara can hit the ref and it's never talked about again, the very action of hitting a ref loses most of it's impact... Instead, later in the show, Tara kicking the ref and putting a spider on him was completely ignored. In fact, the ref apologized for being out of position and recommended she get a rematch ASAP. It seems so out of line with how he'd really react. They basically defined down the impact of a referee being hit and nearly poisoned with a spider by treating it as something much less than a ref being out of position...
JOE VS. STING: Another decent, watchable match, but instantly forgettable. The booking involvement of Taz was anticlimactic. They tried to sell the idea that the presence of Taz gave Joe added magical strength or motivation. West acknowledged the lack of crowd pop for Taz, saying the crowd wasn't sure how to react... Sting dictated a lot time be eaten up with stand-up brawling and matholds, which kept it from being an above-average match. But there was enough action to keep it from a total letdown...
LASHLEY ANNOUNCEMENT: That clip of Lashley's radio announcement of signing with TNA showed why there's still a ton of doubt about Lashley's ability to mean much of anything in a pro wrestling setting. His speaking skills are so uninspiring. The clips they aired were focused on Lesnar, which in some ways is smart because Brock is a hot star right now and Lashley has some MMA wins on his record, but shouldn't Lashley's announcement that he signed with TNA be followed up by a proclamation that he wants to face the TNA Champion? Suddenly TNA has signed a wrestler who wants to fight someone who's not in TNA. I'm just not sure there's a real focus here that helps TNA, assuming Lashley has enough charisma and in-ring skills and overall star power to make a difference in the best of circumstances...
OTHER THOUGHTS: All Rob Terry does is make Magnus and Williams seem small... Jenna vs. Sharmell was truly one of the worst pay-per-view matches in history. It had zero place on the show in the first place. Jenna has no business in the ring at this stage of her training. A real embarrassment and slap in the face to the professionals... Angle was seriously and obviously hobbled, but managed to come through an above-average match with Foley, but nothing close to a PPV-worthy main event performance overall...
Don West on the crowd chanting for Abyss to hurt Stevie: "I tell you what, folks, it's called karma. There's going to be a day you all need psychotherapy help and need shock treatment. Dr. Stevie's door's going to be closed... These people couldn't afford Dr. Stevie anyway."
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