TNA Victory Road Recap (7/19): Mafia Dominates
TNA didn’t do the live preshow for this PPV, instead going back to running videos and clips from the action leading up to the PPV. That was the first of many disappointments tonight.
The PPV opens with a video of highlights from the action leading up to tonight’s matches, with the theme “There is no can’t; there is no won’t.”
Mike Tenay opens by talking about tonight’s card.
Knockout Women’s Championship Match
Angelina Love with Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne
Tara (C) with Poison
Tara gets the advantage right from the start, with a display of strength, but eventually the interference of Sky and Rayne helps Love get an advantage, and she hangs Tara over the ropes in a tarantula hold. The fans are clearly behind Tara, cheering and chanting for her while loudly booing Angelina. After some brutal action, both women end up out on the mat, and the ref does the ten count. Tara uses an impressive kip up to get to her feet first. Velvet tries the hair spray trick, but hits Angelina instead. Tara rolls her up for the pin, but Referee Slick Johnson is distracted by Sky and Rayne. He gets to the count so late that Love kicks out. Love finally gets the win when Slick counts three even though Tara has her foot on the ropes.
After the match, Tara tells Slick about her foot on the ropes, but he won’t listen, so she knocks him out with a kick, and then puts Poison on him.
Jeremy Borash interviews Kurt Angle, who says he doesn’t care about Mick Foley getting his ear ripped off or doing charity work, he only cares about winning. Then he says he’s going to fire any Main Event Mafia members who don’t win tonight.
Matt Morgan hopes to get into the Main Event Mafia by beating Daniels. Morgan starts off throwing Daniels over the top rope to the floor, then goes out and batters him around ringside. Daniels gets back into the ring by dropping Morgan’s throat on the top rope, and then nailing a missile drop kick off the top turnbuckle. Morgan keeps trying to use his strength to overpower Daniels, but Chris uses his speed and agility to keep Morgan off balance, much to the delight of the fans.
Then, Daniels lands wrong and starts selling the old injury to his leg, from when Morgan smashed it in a chair on iMPACT! Morgan goes back to using his power moves and working on Daniels’ leg. The fans get behind Daniels, chanting for him. Morgan misses with an elbow drop and then a leg drop, and Daniels hits him with a jaw breaker. Chris goes for a rake of the eyes and comes off the top with across body block, but only gets two. After a series of near falls and some clever reversals by Daniels, Chris goes for the BME but can’t do it because of the leg injury. Morgan gets the win with the Hellavator.
As Daffney stands by, Jeremy Borash talks to Dr. Stevie, who says he is making tonight’s match with Abyss no DQ, because he will win with his mind. Daffney tells Stevie she loves him.
“The Monster” Abyss
Stevie comes out in a white hospital attendant’s uniform. Abyss enters wearing his new black ring gear, and Tenay says that it symbolizes cutting his ties with Dr. Stevie. Stevie pulls a security baton out of his boot and starts off choking Abyss with it. Abyss uses his strength to take over, and Stevie tries to escape up the ramp. Tenay mentions that Dr. Stevie is Stevie Richards.
Abyss forces Stevie back to the ring, where Stevie tries to overpower Abyss, with no success. Stevie tries to escape through the crowd, but Abyss follows and catches him as the fans cheer. Abyss smashes Stevie into the wall, and then does it again when the fans chant, “One more time!” Don West warns the fans that when they need some electroshock therapy, Dr. Stevie won’t give it to them because of that.
Abyss smashes Stevie’s head into the ring steps repeatedly, as blood pours down Stevie’s face. Abyss props a chair in a corner between the ropes and launches Stevie into it face first. Next Abyss hits him with the Shock Treatment, but pulls him up before the ref counts three. Daffney runs out with the taser gun as Stevie hits Abyss with a low blow. Lauren runs down and chases out Daffney, but she drops the taser in the ring. Stevie gets the taser, but Abyss hits him with the Black Hole Slam and gets the taser, which he uses on Stevie before going for the three count and the win. Abyss and Lauren celebrate in the ring as the fans cheer.
Mick Foley gives a pep talk to Beer Money, warning them that if the Mafia sweeps, all of their jobs will be in danger next week. I have no idea how that makes any difference, since the Mafia still won’t have any ownership interest.
New Japan IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
Team 3D (C)
The British Invasion
I also have no idea how Mick Foley had the authority to make a match for the IWGP titles, since they don’t belong to TNA. The fans are chanting “USA!” as the match starts. Devon and Doug Williams start off with some mat wrestling, but Devon tires of that and goes for power moves. Ray and Magnus tag in, and Ray runs the Brits out of the ring. The Brits make a comeback by double teaming and cheating, and isolate Ray on their side of the ring.
Ray gets the advantage back and they go for the Wassup, but Terry runs around and pushed Devon off the top while ref Slick Johnson is once again distracted. The Brits go back to double teaming and keeping Ray on their side of the ring. Finally Ray gets the tag to Devon, who comes in and cleans house. 3D get in some double teaming of their own, but only get a two count.
The fans call for the tables, and Devon goes out to get one. He slides it in, but then Terry takes him out. Ray survives some three on one until Ray comes back in, and they hit Doug Williams with the 3D to get the pin. After the match, Bashir and Kiyoshi run in, but Bashir gets put through the table by 3D.
Lauren asks Slick Johnson about the bad call he made in the Knockouts Championship match. Slick admits he made a mistake, but says the ref’s decision is final, and that’s that. Then he says he’s going to go to Jim Cornette and ask for a rematch for Tara.
Sharmell with Sojourner Bolt
Jenna Morasca with Awesome Kong
Sojourner Bolt comes out in wrestling gear, but Sharmell is wearing a sequined gown. Kong is wearing her wrestling gear, but Jenna is wearing a leopard print bikini. Catfight! They devoted way too much time to this, much of which was spent waving around a patch of hair torn from Sharmell’s wig. The best part of this match came afterward, when Jenna tried to make Kong run around the ring carrying her, and Kong gave Jenna a big splash.
Jeremy Borash asks Kevin Nash about Kurt Angle’s threat to fire any Mafia member who loses tonight. Nash says if he loses tonight, he’ll retire.
TNA Legends Championship Match
AJ Styles (C)
AJ entered to the biggest pop of the night so far. AJ starts off going after Nash’s weak legs, with kicks at the knees, but he doesn’t connect. He takes Nash down with a single leg takedown, but Nash makes it to the ropes. The match comes down to Nash’s power moves against AJ’s skill and quickness. AJ runs into Nash’s boot and falls out of the ring into the guard rail, and Nash thinks the match is over, but AJ reverses a power bomb attempt into a pin for two. With Nash down, AJ punches him repeatedly in the head and then goes to stomping on his knees. AJ follows with a submission hold working Nash’s knees, but Nash won’t tap, so AJ goes for a pin and gets two.
AJ goes for a chinlock, and Nash gets up and knocks AJ off. More near falls follow. AJ hits the Pelé but still only gets two. AJ comes off the ropes, and Nash gets the win with a choke slam out of nowhere.
Lauren is in the women’s locker room to talk to Tara, and sees Slick Johnson come out of the showers followed by Madison Rayne. She accuses Madison of “being with” Slick, and Madison tells her she’d better be quiet.
TNA World Tag Team Championship Match
Beer Money Inc. (C)
Scott Steiner & Booker T
As you’d expect, this is match is heavy on power moves and brawling. The fans, who sometimes cheer for Booker, are solidly behind Beer Money here. It’s Storm who gets isolated by the Mafia team, and Roode who cleans house when he finally is tagged in. Beer Money get Steiner with the DWI, but Hebner had beer spray in his eyes, so he didn’t count in time. That lets Booker hit Roode with the axe kick, and Steiner rolls him up for the win.
Jeremy Borash comes out, and Booker and Steiner deliver promos saying they are the greatest of all time.
Lauren asks Samoa Joe if his mystery advisor is coming out tonight. Joe says his advisor is here, and he’s going to deliver Sting’s head to him.
Samoa Joe & his “Mystery Advisor”
Joe comes out to the ring alone. Sting enters to a huge pop from the fans. Joe starts right off punching Sting and taking him to the outside, where he knocks him into the guard rail. Joe pushes Sting up against the wall, and ends up punching the wall when Sting dodges. Sting bashes Joe’s head into the wall and they continue to brawl on the floor. Finally Sting returns the match to the ring, where they continue to brawl for a while, and alternate with submission holds.
Sting has Joe nailed with the Scorpion Leglock, but Taz makes his entrance and Joe escapes. Joe manages to apply his rear naked choke, and unbelievably (why couldn’t Joe pick a MMA move that he can actually apply properly?), Sting taps. The fans boo Taz and Joe loudly as they leave.
The only surprise about Joe’s “Mystery Advisor” tonight would have been if Taz had managed to lose enough weight to be in any kind of shape to wrestle. Of course, he didn’t. I suspect that the strategy here is for Joe to have a manager who is in such bad shape that he makes Sloppy Joe look good in comparison — okay, let’s get real — no one could make Joe look good, but Taz could make him look less bad.
They announce Bobby Lashley has signed with TNA and play a video interview of Bobby Lashley saying he wants to fight Brock Lesnar for his MMA championship. Don West claims Lashley is part of the Main Event Mafia.
Jeremy Borash interviews Mick Foley, who says that so far it’s the Mafia’s night. Foley says that he took Angle out with an elbow drop at King of the Mountain, so he knows that it’s possible for him to win. Then he mentions that Angle’s been having problems with one of his hands, as a result of his neck injuries.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kurt Angle (C)
Angle is selling a neck injury, and acting like he’s trying to avoid Foley more than anything else. Foley keeps working on Angle’s neck. Finally Angle starts fighting back. Foley catapults Angle over the ropes to the floor, and Angle grabs his neck again. Angle starts working on Foley’s knees. Angle hits the ankle lock, but Foley flips out of it. Angle tries for a moonsault and misses, seemingly hurting himself even more.
Foley goes for the mandible claw but misses. Angle tries the Angle slam, but Foley kicks out. Angle drops the elbow on ref Andrew Thomas and tries to take out Foley with a chair, but Foley hits him with the claw. Foley drops the elbow on Angle on the floor, but has to carry him back to the ring, so he only gets two. He nearly takes out Angle with the claw, but Angle comes back. Angle hits Mick with the ankle lock, but Foley makes it to the ropes. Angle gets another ankle lock, and this time scissors Foley’s leg, and Foley taps. It was completely obvious that Foley would tap out from the moment on iMPACT! when he said he wouldn’t.
TNA made an effort to please critics by not having any gimmick matches on tonight’s PPV, but that was not nearly enough to overcome the bad booking decisions made here, forcing AJ Styles, Beer Money, Chris Daniels, and Sting all to put over wrestlers who aren’t nearly good enough at this point in time to be credible as winners. To add insult to injury, Tenay and West recapped the whole night’s events at the end.
A PPV could survive one, or even two decisions like that, but not four, and when you add in the travesty that was Sharmell vs. Jenna and the disrespect for the Women’s Championship, it makes for a show with not one match good enough to be on a PPV. I have bought every TNA PPV since they started, and this is the first one I am truly sorry I watched. It takes a lot to turn off a loyal fan like me, but TNA, you have managed to do it! Now we’re going to face even more nonsensical booking as they try to convince us that the Mafia actually have some say in the management of the company without owning even one share of company stock.
TNA’s next PPV is Hard Justice on August 16 at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.
– Karen Belcher
Courtesy of ProWrestlingDigest.com