From time to time, I like to clean off my computer and my accounts that I don’t use on various sites. Earlier this week I stumbled upon an old YouTube account I have that was subscribed to TNAwrestlingPLUS – which is TNA’s current archive of a wealth of pay-per-views from the past as well as the One Night Only events. Since there is a fair amount of quality product in this archive, I thought it would only be right to go back and review some of it and maybe put some exposure on some lesser known gems in this collection. That’s not to say I’ll only review good pay-per-views, because that wouldn’t really do me any good. One thought I do want to put out there, though, is that I feel like it’s a huge loss on the part of TNA to not actively promote this. While they’re currently struggling as they move to a new network to air their weekly television, I would think having a host of people sign up for the low price of five dollars a month might actually do a lot more good than harm for them. Then again, I usually think pretty crazy and outlandish thoughts.
Nevertheless, it’s on to the review! This time on deck, we’ve got a somewhat recent pay-per-view as we travel back in time to 2010 and revisit that year’s edition of Victory Road. There’s some notable matches on this card, which you’ll see in the review below, but also a couple of sleeper picks that I think may actually be incredibly intriguing. Time will tell.
For the five or six people reading this article that are familiar with a typical Ultimate X match in TNA, you might be asking the same thing I asked at first: what in the hell is an Ultimate X Submission match? However, once I learned what the backstory on this match was I….actually, no, it still didn’t make sense to me why you would combine two stipulations in one match. This is a load of crap right off the bat that I’m not a fan of. The backstory as to why this is an Ultimate X match that can be won by pulling down the X Division championship OR by submission is that Douglas Williams is deathly afraid of heights…
Let me make sure we’re all on the same page here: The CHAMPION of a division that’s notorious for HIGH-FLYERS is AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. Just when I thought TNA was on good standing with this match, they pull that hot pile of garbage into this. Alright, now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s talk about the actual match.
The actual match is pretty great. Williams is one of the best pure wrestlers around, especially back in this time period. Kendrick is no slouch in the ring, either, and can hold his own with just about anyone. Williams tries early on in the match to conquer his supposed acrophobia but opts for the submission route instead, trying to weaken down the challenger. Brian Kendrick keeps utilizing a cobra clutch, which according to faithful TNA commentator Mike Tenay, he had been using recently on Impact to try and prove a point to Williams that he can win the match with either style. For the most part, this match is entirely a submission and brawl on the outside with little to no action going on above the ring in terms of the Ultimate X stipulation. Not that I’m complaining, because with Williams I’d rather more mat based wrestling. Towards the end of the match, Williams puts on a pair of gloves to assist himself with climbing after dispatching of Brian Kendrick on the outside. Kendrick scoots up the scaffolding and attempts to apply a Cobra Clutch to a vulnerable Williams, but instead takes an absolutely nasty bump onto his head, which knocks Kendrick out cold. Williams seizes this opportunity and locks in a Cobra Clutch of his own. Kendrick’s arm goes down three times, and just like that, the match is over.
It was a fairly entertaining match, as mentioned, but it was definitely rushed given the fact that there was both the Ultimate X and Submission stipulations applied. As is the case with any rushed match, and this match here, one stipulation was dominant while the other almost seemed a bit forgotten. Good effort by both Williams and Kendrick regardless, but the overly saturated stipulation booking here prevents me from being able to go higher on my rating.
Winner via Submission and still X Division Champion: Douglas Williams
Do you ever watch a match that just entirely destroys your will to live for one reason or another? Well, that’s exactly what this match did for me. I had to stop watching and go play Grand Theft Auto Online just to feel better about my life and the state of the rest of this pay-per-view. The match itself was OK, minus the fact that Jesse Neal was extremely green at this point. They didn’t do the obvious finish here either. Before the match, Ray cut a promo on Devon calling him worthless without Ray, leading you to think that Team 3D would have split up and Ray would have pinned Devon. If this was WWE booking, you would be without a shadow of a doubt right. However, TNA decided to go a different route here.
But before we get to that, let’s talk about the shenanigans that stopped Devon from being in this match until the closing points. Who else but Hacksaw Jim Duggan happens to show up and locks Devon in his locker room with a 2×4. I really wish I was making this stuff up, folks, I really do. However, I’m not. That being said, the closing of the match was…interesting once Devon finally makes it out. Neal spears Devon and looks absolutely flabbergasted that he hit the wrong Team 3D member, even though it’s a pretty tough job to mistake the two of them. I’m dead serious. Devon looks like he actually gives two shits about his appearance and Ray looks like he frequents Dunkin Donuts two times a day. Ray ends up nailing the Bubba Bomb off of this confusion.
Winner via Pinfall: Brother Ray
For a company that once touted this division as the apex of treatment for women in professional wrestling, this match was an absolute pile of garbage. I’m normally a huge fan of women’s wrestling, because I believe they can be just as good, if not better than their male counterparts. However, this match makes me loose any faith and credibility I once held for the Knockouts Division. There’s a pre-match stipulation here that if any members of The Beautiful People had gotten involved (Velvet Sky or Lacey Von Erich, at this point), that Madison Rayne would lose her title. On the other hand, if Angelina Love lost, she would be forced to retire. The match itself was short, only about four minutes by my best estimate, and was incredibly dull. It also ends in the most cheaply booked way possible: someone in a biker helmet interferes and the referee awards Angelina Love the disqualification win. This decision was reversed not even two weeks later as the woman under the helmet was revealed to be Tara, better known as Victoria from WWE. Just an absolute shitshow by any means of the word.
Winner via Disqualification and NEW Knockouts Champion: Angelina Love
For whatever reason, they decided that Mr. Anderson should cut a promo on assholes and how his main event battle is the left ass cheek against the right ass cheek before this match happened. I’m still flabberghasted that somebody took the time to write that promo. Now for the tag team match. I went into this match thinking it’s got to be match of the night on the card. There is no way that you can put AJ Styles, Kazarian, and Samoa Joe in the same match and have a bad match, right? As you’re about to see me explaining, I was actually wrong. The work by three of TNA’s top stars at that point wasn’t quite what you were expecting. I was expecting Styles to fly all over the place, same with Kazarian, and for Joe to straight up murder somebody in this match. Instead, you got a fairly normal tag team match that was more hurt by it’s star power than it was helped. I’m not sure why, but it just appeared as if there was absolutely no chemistry at all between Styles, Kazarian, and Joe. The ending sequence of the match was pretty insane though. Desmond Wolfe, who these days is more known as Nigel McGuinness in ROH, gets involved in the match and goes immediately after Joe as he’s part of Fortune (Ric Flair’s stable whom Styles & Kazarian are trying to join) during this time. Joe immediately lays Wolfe and the two of them have a love affair for all intents and purposes on the outside. Meanwhile, Rob Terry falls victim to an absolutely insane combination of moves. AJ starts it off with a flying lariat to the back of the head, followed by a springboard dropkick and springboard leg drop, then followed up by a springboard 450 splash by AJ Styles to seal the deal. While the ending sequences of the match is where everyone shined, it seemed in general that the match suffered from the star power, as mentioned earlier. It’s a shame, too. I was expecting more looking at the match on paper.
Winners via Pinfall: AJ Styles & Kazarian
The backstory of this match is one of those blood curdling ones. Matt Morgan picks a fight with Hernandez and then basically runs away from every fight like a little chicken or has help defeating him. So what’s the solution? Lock them inside a cage. Taz mentions that there’s nowhere for Morgan to run, only for Mike Tenay to remind Taz that the match is won via escaping the cage. What an absolutely interesting and not at all cliche turn of events, folks. This match was a train wreck, though not nearly as bad as the Knockouts Championship match. The match had a lot of blood in it too, if you’re into that sort of thing. Hernandez managed to botch not one, but two Border Tosses in this match, which hurt an already lackluster match in my opinion. The end of the match featured an alright spot, where Morgan handcuffed Hernandez to the cage, but he breaks out and spears himself through the cage to get out before Morgan does. This is one of the most skip-able matches I’ve seen in TNA history, and that’s saying something.
Winner via escaping the cage: Hernandez
Who would have thought that in the year 2010, you would see Ric Flair versus Jay Lethal in TNA? I sure wouldn’t have thought of that. If you’re looking for dark horse on a TNA card, you’ll definitely want to check this match out. Lethal and Flair have some excellent exchanges, and the parody job Lethal does here is incredible. What’s not incredible is his ugly ass ring gear, but you’ll learn to get past that, maybe. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to not only see that Ric Flair was still able to compete at a high level, but that he was perfectly OK with giving Jay Lethal the rub here and put him over. One of the best matches on the card, to be honest. The only other thing that one ups this match is the one that followed it, the obvious match of the night.
Winner via Submission: Jay Lethal
I had to resist the urge to skip directly to this match when I looked up the card before reviewing. Motor City Machine Guns and Beer Money, two of TNA’s best tag teams in it’s history squared off for the vacant TNA Tag Team Championship. I have just two words to describe this match: absolutely incredible. By the time this match occurred, MCMG had never won the TNA Tag Team Championship despite being a team for three years. Meanwhile, Roode and Storm are one of the most decorated teams to ever compete in TNA. While most of Victory Road to this point destroyed my will to live, this match gave me faith in the company and it’s ability to do booking. Not only was the emotional investment there in Shelley and Sabin, but the ring work of all four men involved was incredible. Should you ever want to go back through the archives of TNA and find some excellent matches, you need to see this match.
Winners via Pinfall and NEW TNA Tag Team Champions: Motor City Machine Guns
Whether it was his work in WWE as Elijah Burke or the entirety of his TNA run, I could never get into D’Angelo Dinero. The guy just never really struck me as anything special, but he was always a solid ring worker. Kurt Angle also peaked in his interest with me by the end of 2005. All this match was for me was just fodder for Angle to be built up again. They had a solid match, but it’s entirely skip-able. You won’t be missing very much. A couple of cool near falls, but Angle gets the Ankle Lock on. The rest, as they say, is elementary.
Winner via Submission: Kurt Angle
This is the type of main event that I have very low expectations from. Let’s throw three former WWE stars who were on the edge of being main eventers, and Abyss, into the main event and see what happens. If you want to talk about playing things risky, then there’s your match. Based on the heavily influenced promos in the past few weeks of Abyss rambling on about an outside person, I half-expected a surprise run in. I was also flat out anticipating that Abyss would just win the title regardless of any interference. Each and every man did their part well, but it was a very lackluster main event. If you’ve seen these four men work, then you can easily predict what happened in the match. Abyss walked around like a maniac outside the ring while the others beat the crap out of each other, until they drag him into the fray. Abyss comes close to winning the title here, but Van Dam capitalizes after Abyss destroys everyone and gets the Five Star on him to seal the deal. To end the pay-per-view, Abyss has this black 2×4 that’s covered in nails and tries to lodge it right into Van Dam’s head, but he escapes….alrighty then. Not gonna ask, not gonna look into that. Don’t want to know why that was a storyline.
Winner via Pinfall and still TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Rob Van Dam
Finally, the pain and the suffering is over. I was quoted by Trask as saying that this pay-per-view could have a lot of unexpectedly good gems, and boy was I ever wrong about that. I’d say my lesson has been learned, but I’m willing to bet I’ll review another TNA pay-per-view in the near future. Until next time, folks! Stay safe, and don’t watch any terrible wrestling that destroys your will to live, like this pay-per-view did to me!