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The Victory Road 2007 Breakdown

July 30, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn

Victory Road 2007
by J.D. Dunn

  • July 15, 2007
  • Live from Orlando, Fla.
  • Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Don West.

  • X-Division Gauntlet
    Usual Royal Rumble rules for the first part. Christopher Daniels is #1. Jay Lethal is #2. Oooooh yeaaaahh. Nothing much happens because it’s only a one-minute interval. Puma is #3. Frick yeah! He gets whipped in the ropes and does the spider counter. Homicide is #4. He goes after Black Machismo. Actually, everyone teams up on Lethal. Sonjay Dutt is #5. He wipes out Puma and Homicide with a flying crossbody. He does some other flying moves before Puma knocks him goofy with a roundhouse kick. Petey Williams comes in at #6 and goes after everyone. Homicide breaks up the Canadian Destroyer, then Puma breaks up a Canadian Destroy, then Puma TAKES a Canadian Destroyer! [sad]There goes Puma.[/sad] Shark Boy is #7. Nothing huge going on. Elix Skipper is #8. He sends Sharkboy out and nearly botches that. Nice to see some things never change. He tosses Sonjay and then knocks him out when Sonjay tries to skin-the-cat. Kaz (arian not Hayashi) is #9, and he goes wild on everyone. Senshi is #10. So now the “X” is in play.

    Kazarian goes up the scaffold, but Senshi catches up with him and locks in the Dragon Clutch to keep him in place. Skipper and Senshi get dragged back down. Lethal, Senshi, Kaz, and Daniels all swing across the scaffold to the “X”, but they all get dragged down. Daniels goes up, keeping his legs up in the railing so no one can grab him, but Lethal knocks his hands off, leaving him hanging. Kaz brings Daniels all the way down with an INSANE springboard Ace Crusher. Convoluted: yes. Spot of the year: probably. Kaz and Skipper go up to the top of the railing and then realize that they’re 20 feet up. They slug it out and fall off while they’re chickenfighting. Kaz hits the Flux Capacitor to take out Homicide. That allows Daniels to go up. Skipper and Senshi suddenly start working together to take out everyone else while Daniels crawls across and grabs the X at 18:47. XXX has reformed! Unfortunately, while West freaks out appropriately, Tenay is busy reading off their history like he’s going through his grocery list. That’s why Jim Ross beats him all to hell because Ross would be screaming, “What does this mean? How did this happen?!” And then you’d have to tune in to find out, which furthers the story. I guess Daniels’ brief singles push is over, and the XXX reformation is a good idea…but for the fact that one of the best matches in TNA history led to the stipulation that XXX had to disband, and if they go back on that now without explanation, it’s just another example of short-sighted booking. It would be like if the NFL took the Bears out of the Super Bowl and put the New Orleans Saints in because the Saints were a better story. Anyway, this match had some good spots and an interesting twist at the end, but it was a bit cluttered and that made it harder to tell a cohesive story. ***

  • Team 3D disagree on just which one of them is going to win the title. D-Von says he’s been waiting 15 years for this. Apparently, he spent the first 10 of those years hoping that Jarrett would start a promotion. Brother Ray’s “300-ish” pounds was pretty funny, though.
  • Basham & Damaja (w/Christy Hemme & Lance Hoyt) vs. Voodoo Kin Mafia.
    After a slow aimless start, it’s looking like Christy has been quite a good addition to the roster. Before the match, VKM introduces Roxxi Laveaux as “the Voodoo Queen” to counteract The Hemme Effect. In fact, Hemme doesn’t even pay attention to the match. Instead, she makes out with Lance Hoyt. Can’t say that I blame her…wait. Not for making out with Hoyt but for not paying attention to the match. Hoyt and Christy get involved, prompting Roxxi to crawl in the ring. Earl Hebner holds her back, though, allowing Basham & Damaja to jump BG from behind. Kip eventually gets the hot tag and cleans house with the usual. Basham runs in with a legline, though. The ref gets distracted, allowing Hoyt to run in and boot a chair into Kip’s face. It only gets two because Kip’s a superhero and all. Hoyt begs for a faster count, allowing BG to nail Damaja with a chairshot. Kip picks up the win at 7:04 because Damaja is not a superhero and all. After the match, Christy tries to jump Kip, but he catches her and lets Roxxi give her a Dominator to add the exclamation point. *

  • Kurt Angle gives a very Colbert-ish interview about how Joe should blame his own parents for giving birth to someone who isn’t as good as Kurt. Funny stuff.
  • Recap of the Rhino addiction angle.
  • Rhino vs. James Storm (w/Jackie Moore).
    Before the match, the ref tosses Jackie. Big brawl to start, of course. They go up in the crowd and back again where Storm goes after Rhino’s neck to take over. That goes on for a long time before Rudy Charles gets bumped. Rhino hits a belly-to-belly but drops Storm right where Storm left his beer bottle. Rhino charges for the gore, but Storm SMASHES the bottle over his head for the win at 11:05. It started well but hit a wall once Storm took over. After the match, Storm ties Rhino up and dumps liquor down his throat as Jackie takes a picture. So now we know who booked the Jake Roberts/Jerry Lawler angle in 1996. Storm adds a chairshot and walks out. *1/4

  • Jerry Lynn derides video games and profanity. He’s starting to sound more like Backlund every day.
  • Video recap of Nash taking the Motor City Machine Guns under his wing.
  • Jerry Lynn & Bob Backlund vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (w/Kevin Nash).
    Pushing the Machine Guns is key to TNA gaining popularity because they are the kind of cool heel team that could develop a cult following and lead to bigger merchandise á la D-Generation X. Plus, they’re good wrestlers. The old dudes really don’t even get in much significant offense. Shelley uses some bodily fluids like snot and spit to stay on top and get heat. Lynn takes a pair of dropkicks in the tree-of-woe. Nash adds a cheapshot, allowing the MCMG to hit a series of kicks and pick up the win at 8:48. TNA is insane if they don’t push these guys. The match wasn’t much more than a squash. *1/4

  • In the back, Kurt Angle asks Jay Lethal to watch his back. Lethal refuses, so Angle beats him down…and drops his glasses. Oh, now he’s really mad!
  • Eric Young & Gail Kim vs. Robert Roode & Traci Brooks.
    Lots of wacky hijinx in this one, of course. The heels get sent into one another, and EY gets two off a rollup. They isolate Young and make a wish. Roode works him over, and Brooks provides the psychological warfare by telling Young that nobody likes him. She hits him with a clothesline, but Young blocks a second one and tags Kim. Gail cleans house, hitting Roode with a rana. He blocks a second try and counters to a Boston Crab. EY makes the save. Gail drop toeholds Roode onto Brooks. He tries to break up a cover but elbows Traci right in the face. Ouch! Young returns and disposes of Roode, allowing Gail to cover for the win at 8:14. This is fun, harmless little feud, which is nice because they’re not taking themselves so seriously. After the match, Roode and Brooks nearly come to blows, so Young pantses Roode and runs off. **

  • In the back, Kurt Angle asks the Christian Coalition for help, but they have their own problems. Sonjay Dutt interrupts to raise money to combat Ebola. Ever the philanthropist, Kurt offers the gift of violence.
  • Christian Cage vs. Chris Harris.
    Counter-wrestling to start. Harris hits a hanging vertical suplex. To the floor, Christian charges and gets backdropped onto the ramp. Back in, Christian comes off the top right into a flapjack. Well, this isn’t going well for him. Finally, he slips off Harris’ shoulder and crotches him against the post. Christian grabs a chair, but referee Rudy Charles steps in the way, allowing Harris to whip Christian into the steps. Back in, Christian misses a corner charge and takes a flying lariat. A flying crossbody gets two for Harris. The match is missing any kind of flow here. Christian blocks a superplex and counters to a super facebuster for two. The Unprettier is reversed to the Catatonic, which reversed again to the Unprettier. Harris pushes out of it and hits Christian with his own Unprettier! ONE, TWO, TH-NO! Christian slingshots himself right into a spear. Harris tries another, but Christian leapfrogs it and hits the Unprettier. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Harris catapults him into the exposed turnbuckle and hits a Full Nelson Slam, but it only gets two. Christian distracts the ref and nails Harris with a chairshot. Frogsplash! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Dustin Rhodes appears up at the top of the ramp as Tenay points out that Rhodes was Harris’ former tag partner at one time. Tomko runs down the other way and distracts the ref while Rhodes nails Harris in the back of the head with handcuffs. That allows Christian to roll Harris up for the win at 12:29. Why did he do it? What does it mean? Gotta tune in to Impact to find out. The match was awkward with each guy just trading moves without any real storyline connecting them. **1/4

  • Sting finally feels he’s gotten through to Abyss.
  • Tomko & AJ Styles vs. Sting & Abyss.
    Styles opens with speed, cockiness, and a lot of kicks on Abyss. Abyss just no-sells everything, including a crossbody, which looked pretty funny. Tomko tags in and slugs it out with Abyss. Sting and Tomko go toe-to-toe, and they do a cool spot where AJ sprints but misses an avalanche. Abyss goes for a Styles Clash on AJ, but Tomko makes the save. Abyss briefly plays face-in-peril until the match breaks down. Abyss goes up and gets dropkicked into Tomko. Styles flies out with a plancha, and then Sting follows with a dive. Things settle down again, with AJ hitting Sting with an enzuigiri to let the Coalition take over again. Sting comes back with a clothesline on Styles and tags out to Abyss. Abyss hits the Shock Treatment on Styles, but Tomko runs in and hits a Tree Slam. Sting clips Tomko’s knee and puts him in a crappy Scorpion Deathlock. AJ keeps the ref distracted and then forearms Abyss into Sting to break up the hold. Abyss tosses Styles and hits Tomko with the Black Hole Slam for the win at 15:33. Tomko and Styles make a surprisingly effective team. I want to see more. The match was the usual formula with some creative AJ spots thrown in. **3/4

  • After the match, Father James Mitchell comes out and tells Abyss that payback is coming.
  • Match of Champions: Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe vs. Team 3D.
    You know the rules. If Kurt or Joe pin one the champions, that person wins both belts and gets to choose his own partner to be a tag title co-holder. If either Ray or D-Von pin Joe or Angle, they win the title of the guy they pinned (although, presumably not the IWGP Title). So you could possibly see TNA Champion Brother Ray! Or not. That’s really the drawback of this whole match. Of course, they spend the buildup talking about how Joe and Angle can’t get along, so throughout the match, it’s Ray and D-Von who are at odds. The singles champs kick ass early, hitting their usual. Ray comes back with a Ray Bottom on Joe, but D-Von breaks up the pin. Ray and D-Von get in each other’s faces, and Ray threatens to walk out. Apparently, he realizes how stupid that would be and comes back. The tag champs isolate Joe, but no one really buys that he’s going to be pinned. Angle eventually gets the hot tag. Joe breaks up the “So Easy a Caveman Can Do It” Drop, and Angle super belly-to-bellies D-Von off the top. A moonsault gets two for Angle, but Ray breaks it up. Angle and Joe get Stereo Anklelocks, but neither member of 3D will tap. Brother Ray eventually gets out of it, and Angle accidentally knocks Joe off the Anklelock. Angle is so shocked that Team 3D is able to hit him with the 3D. D-Von covers, but here’s Rick Steiner to break up the pin. That triggers a brawl between D-Von and Rick, allowing Scott Steiner to return and knock Ray silly with the lead pipe. That would be a lot more convincing if Ray then didn’t look over for the referee while he was on his back. That leads to an Angleslam, but Joe sneaks in and clips Angle’s knee, enabling Joe to pick up the win and the title at 19:26. The match was just a matter of waiting to see who’d screw who over. It works a lot better as a catalyst for spinning off (or reigniting) new feuds rather than an actual match unto itself. No one gave either 3D’er a chance to win a singles title, and rightly so. The heat suffered because of that. Busting out the screwgie in the main event usually isn’t a good idea either. Joe would wind up picking Angle anyway, rendering the whole pick-your-partner thing moot. **1/4

    The 411: It started out fine but went downhill after that. Most of the matches were around the average-to-good mark, but it felt like a lot of guys were just spinning their wheels until you-know-who comes back. The reunification of XXX and the rekindling of the Steiners-3D feud has some possibilities, but Roode needs to be less of a cartoon character if they want people to take him seriously, and Harris needs a bit more edge. Not a horrible show, but not up to the level of the past few TNA PPVs either.

    Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.

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