The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Victory Road>/I> Preview & Predictions!
The Kingfish Arnie Katz breaks out the crystal ball to get you ready for TNA’s July pay per view event, Victory Road, from Orlando, FL.

The TNA roster, both wrestlers and non-wrestling characters, sold the idea that Victory Road could decide the future fate of TNA. Yet this show is usually a transition between Slammiversary and Bound for Glory.

Therefore, the pivotal question is: Will the Main Event Mafia obliterate the TNA Loyalists? It’s a tough one to answer, too.

If they want to give the Babyface Victory the maximum impact, TNA will save it for Bound for Glory. Since things should look darkest before the dawn for maximum dramatic effect, that line of reasoning says that the Main Event Mafia should come through in a big way at Glory Road so that the Good Guys have their backs against the wall when they make the Big Comeback at Bound for Glory.

The only problem is that the build-up to the pay per view indicates that the TNA Loyalists will win at least two key matches.

My conclusion is that there will be no total victory at Victory Road. Each faction will claim triumphs, but it will take Bound for Glory to achieve a win for the Loyalists.

Let’s look at Victory Road match by match to see what’s in store – and what may happen.

Matt Morgan vs. Daniels
The Story: Matt Morgan is trying to earn his way into the Main Event Mafia. He has targeted Daniels, a thorn in MEM’s side, and plans to dispose of him in this match.

My Prediction: If the Blueprint loses this match, his current run, and his dealings with MEM, would be finished. That mans he has to beat Daniels, who really only needs to look competitive against the behemoth.

Predicted Grade: B+

Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca
The Story: Sharmell took instant dislike to Jenna Morasca from the moment Kevin Nash brought the winner of Survivor Amazon to TNA and the newcomer has returned that enmity in full measure. Now they’re going to take their hatred inside the six-sided ring. It won’t be much of a wrestling match, but it could be a very interesting fight inside the ropes.

My Prediction: Neither of these women can work a match, so far was we know, so the ultimate objective must be to involve Sojourner Bolt and Awesome Kong. Bolt comes out of this as the babyface in a feud against the biggest woman in pro wrestling. The decision of the match doesn’t matter that much, but it is likely to be indecisive, something like a No Contest, COR or Double DQ.

Predicted Grade: B- (for the post-match between the actual wrestlers.)

Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie
The Story: Things have gone from bad to worse between Dr. Stevie and his most famous patient. Abyss has taken more than his fair share of abuse and is ready to take his revenge. The desire is there, but can Abyss challenge his aggression enough to defeat the schemes and stratagems of the nefarious Stevie.

My Prediction</B:: This seems like an abrupt end to one of the most relentlessly distasteful angles in TNA history. They’ve already dismantled Dr. Stevie’s entourage, so it may actually be the finish. Abyss will toss aside Daffney and whomever else TNA dredges up to help Stevie and Abyss will chase him out of the arena.

Predicted Grade: C+

Angelina Love vs. Tara
TNA Knockout Championship
The Story: Tara has hit TNA like a force of nature. The exotic-looking Knockout, now toting a hideous-looking spider named Poison, took the title form Angelina Love. The leader of the Beautiful People doesn’t intend to let the gold stay out of her grasp for too long. This could be her only shot for the foreseeable future.

My Prediction: Angelina Love will win back the title with a lot of help from Madison Rain and Velvet Sky. Part of it will be a gimmick to neutralize the spider, perhaps a cage trap. If Love wins by foul means, she can drop the strap to Sarita and then go back to feuding with Tara.

Predicted Grade: B

Team 3D vs. The British Invasion
IWGP Tag Team title match
The Story: A lot has happened since Team 3D invited The British Invasion to participate in the tournament, none of it very pleasing to Ray and Devon. Team 3D will try to teach the upstarts some respect, but they must risk the UWGP belts to get that opportunity.

My Prediction: Team 3D will get to do the Wassup and, most likely, put someone through a table, but The British Invasion won’t suffer a clean loss. This would be a great spot for a three-on-two beatdown that sets up a further match at Bound for Glory. Unless The British Invasion is going to work Japan, they won’t get their hands on the IWGP tag team title.

Predicted Grade: B

AJ Styles vs. Kevin Nash
Legends Championship
The Story: The Main Event Mafia has had a special dislike of Styles ever since The Phenomenal One took the Legends Championship from Booker T. AJ has defended it successfully, but Kevin Nash looks like his most formidable opponent to date. Capturing all the TNA gold is a top priority for the MEM

My Prediction: Kevin Nash’s dominant performance in the six-man elimination match on the 7/16 iMPACT made me question whether he would actually beat Styles for the Legends strap. Getting The Phenomenal One back into the TNA mainstream seems like an idea whose time has come, so Big Sexxy will buck the odds and continue his winning streak.

Predicted Grade: B-

Beer Money vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner
TNA World Tag Team title match
The Story: Robert Roode and James Storm have had a bull’s-eye on their backs since they regained the TNA World Tag Team Championship from Team 3D. They are on good terms with the former champs, at least for now, but Scott Steiner and Booker T plan to start their own tag title reign at <U<Victory Road.

My Prediction: Once more ignoring that six-man elimination match, a win for the heels would be a great way to position Beer Money for a return, “get-even” match at Bound for Glory. The announcers have started mentioning that Roode and Storm are among TNA’s originals, which sounds like there’ll be a re-statement of the factions after this pay per view that creates an Originals-versus-MEM card for TNA’s late-summer blockbuster.

Presumably, one of Beer Money’s double-team moves will go wrong, thus allowing Steiner and Booker T to get the decision and capture the gold. It’s possible that Bobby Lashley will return to TNA to lend a hand to Steiner and Booker.

Predicted Grade: B+

Samoa Joe vs. Sting
The Story: Samoa Joe’s betrayal of the TNA Originals and his unqualified support of Kurt Angle’s power grab within the Main Event Mafia, have placed him at odds with Sting. The idealistic Icon couldn’t stomach what Joe did at Slammiversary and will try to get revenge on the Nation of Violence.

My Prediction: Sting can’t come out of this with a loss, because he must step up to fight Kurt Angle in the Bound for Glory main event. A Sting win would also keep the Main Event Mafia from winning everything, though they will end the night with the World, Tag Team and Legends belts in their possession.

The straight-forward booking would be for Sting to dominate Samoa Joe until Joe’s “surprise” mentor Taz makes his grand entrance. Taz then distracts Sting enough to turn the tide before he goes too far and gets Joe disqualified.

I wouldn’t play it like that – and I don’t think TNA will, either. Taz is coming in and, it seems logical, that he will come to TNA in a recognizable version of his character, as the entrance music tease on iMPACT showed.

If Taz is going to be Taz, then there is no way he could possibly approve of Samoa Joe’s cowardly, mercenary behavior in selling out to Kurt Angle during a match.

So, in my version, Taz comes out to a big pop and watches the match from ringside. At a critical juncture, he trips up Samoa Joe, leading to defeat at the hands of Sting’s Scorpion Deathlock.

Predicted Grade: A-

Kurt Angle vs. Mick Foley
TNA World Title match
The Story: Mick Foley has experienced quite a roller coaster ride since climbing back inside the ring as a competitor. He won the title as a fan favorite, reigned as a heel, lost the title on Joe’s betrayal and now wants to win it back “for the fans.”

My Prediction: Whether it’s incipient schizophrenia or bad writing, Foley is a babyface again. He is going to lose. It will be a match with some great high spots and fine work, but the bottom line is a Foley loss.

The weird thing is that they made such a big deal about Foley’s aversion to tapping out. First Eric Young called a phantom tap-out against Foley and then Foley vowed never to tap to Angle on the “bring it home” iMPACT. Kurt won’t be able to submit him with the Anklelock, but some kind of distraction will give him an opening for the Olympic Slam that leads to a pin.

If I had the say, the distraction would be Kevin Nash. That would give Mick Foley a motive to challenge Nash for the Legends Championship.

It is possible that there will be an X Division match, possibly on the pre-show. None was scheduled at the time of this posting.

Predicted Grade: A-

Predicted grade for Victory Road: B-

That’s all for today! I’ll be back on Monday with my recap and analysis of Victory Road on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]