PPV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA VICTORY ROAD PPV REPORT 7/13: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event from Houston
Jul 13, 2008 - 10:16:59 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA VICTORY ROAD PPV REPORT
JULY 13, 2008
LIVE FROM HOUSTON, TEX.
-I missed the opening five minutes, but I assume there was a video package as usual with a lot of high-falutin pseudo-talk that makes viewers think of the event as something the future of the universe depends on.
1 -- TEAM TNA vs. TEAM JAPAN vs. TEAM INTERNATIONAL vs. TEAM MEXICO - 3rd Round 12-Man Elimination Match
Mike Tenay and Don West did their best to try to explain the importance of this match on the point tally for some teams, but not as much for others. It was a lot to keep track of for something that few people care about enough to think hard about. Milano Collection AT tried to feign a low-blow to DQ Chris Sabin, but a second ref at ringside told the first ref there was no low blow. Tenay said he likes the idea of a second ref at ringside for a match with this many wrestlers. At 15:00 Curry Man was eliminated, leaving Sabin and Shelley representing Team TNA. Alex Kozlov, Masato Yoshino, and Ray Bucanero were the others left. The Machine Guns used some cool moves to bring the highspot filled match to a crescendo. The crowd chanted "This is awesome!" At 22:00 Kozlov pinned Sabin with his feet on the ropes (sort of; he meant to, but was too far and barely got one leg on the bottom rope at the last second for pseudo-leverage to "cheat"). The three-way action continued. Yoshino got Kozlov to tapout to an arm submission hold. It came down to Shelley and Yoshino at 24:00. Shelley eventually got the pin.
WINNER: Team TNA in 27:00.
STAR RATING: *** -- Lots of cool spots from start to finish, so for some a dream match. There was so little context early, though, it was truly just a bunch of spots. The last ten minutes was better without as many people tagging in and out somewhat indiscriminately. At least Shelley and Sabin were in late so fans had someone they knew to root for. It's one of those matches where if they gave Shelley & Sabin 27 minutes against just one other team of two, if could have been four-stars-plus and a potential match of the year
-Tenay and West were shown on camera. They previewed the rest of the PPV line-up. It was a good way to set the stage for the rest of the show.
-They went to the first of a series of Booker T Homecoming segments. He gave a brief tour of his house including some of his favorite rooms including a wall of plaques including some PWI awards. It looked like a typical upscale McMansion on a slightly grander scale, but not exactly cozy or impressive in terms of interior design. Lots of off-white walls and high ceilings, but it didn't feel like a "home." End of my "Design Star" critique.
-A video package aired previewing Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love. This was one of the best recent TNA segments because Kim and Love were totally believable in their roles and they actually talked about what's at stake in the match. Kim is earnest and likable and Love is a total stuck-up diva you want to see "get hers."
2 -- GAIL KIM vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/Velvet Sky)
Velvet Sky yanked Kim's leg off the ring apron at 1:00 to reverse momentum in the match. Kim began to apply a figure-four on Love around the ringpost. Tenay said it channeled Bret Hart. When Kim went to the top rope, Sky shook the ropes to knock Kim off balance. After some back and forth action and nearfalls, Kim speared Love, then finished Love with a handcuff neckbreaker for the win. Love and Sky attacked Kim after the match and set her up for the brown paper bag humiliation, but Kim escaped first.
WINNER: Kim in 8:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Solid action start to finish.
-B.G. James earned his paycheck by interviewing fans who were finalists to be whip-wielders at ringside. James said somebody is "getting flogged like a dog at Victory Road." Who would flog a dog with a whip, and can I buy their ticket to hell for doing it?
-A video package aired on the So Cal Val love triangle storyline.
3 -- "GURU" SONJAY DUTT vs. "BLACK MACHISMO" JAY LETHAL (w/So Cal Val)
Before the match Dutt handed a flower and card to Val. Lethal jumped Dutt before the match, knocking him to the floor and then diving onto him at ringside. Lethal tore up the card and flower. West said Lethal's fun personality is gone because of the trauma Dutt caused him. Dutt took early control inside the ring. Dutt, who wrestled with a red head wrap that fit his character, made a comeback at 2:00. A few minutes later Lethal turned up his attack at ringside. Tenay called it "almost a violent attack" and a "different, new side" of Lethal. Val seemed to have trouble watching Dutt take a beating. Dutt looked at her for sympathy and help as he was in a Lethal sharpshooter. Lethal turned to tell Val to step off the ring apron to the floor. Dutt crawled over and told Val he loves her. Dutt got really upset and amped up his intensity. When he turned to talk to Val, who was standing on the ring apron, Dutt schoolboyed him for the win with his feet on the ropes for added leverage.
WINNER: Dutt in 9:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Short, but told it's story well and the content of the match was good.
-Jeremy Borash interviewed Beer Money Inc. backstage. Roode complained about a "little 95 pound mark" strapping him at ringside. He told the "marks" at ringside he won't be held responsible for what happens to them. Storm said he can't wait to get out of this town just like the Tennessee Titans did. Jackie refused to go to ringside with her men because she didn't want to get whipped.
4 -- LAX (Homicide & Hernandez) vs. BEER MONEY INC. (James Storm & Robert Roode) -- Fans' Revenge Match
Roode got whipped a minute in when he bailed out to ringsie. He hugged Storm's legs afterward, then tagged Storm in. West noted that Hernandez got a new tattoo. Tenay said that's very confident of him to get a tattoo right before a whipping match. The heels took some whippings in the early minutes. Hernandez hit a big top rope splash for a near fall at 9:00. Homicide ducked a diving Roode who flew to the floor where he was whipped. Hernandez then lifted Roode as Homicide gave him a neckbreaker off the top rope to win.
WINNERS: LAX in 10:00 to retain the TNA Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- It felt a big anticlimactic, and the gimmick of fans at ringside while a distraction wasn't much of a payoff.
-They went to another video segment on Booker T, this time at his training center with his students complimenting his training style.
-A video recap aired of Awesome Kong being upset by Taylor for the TNA Knockouts Title.
5 -- TAYLOR WILD vs. AWESOME KONG (w/Raisha Saeed) - TNA Knockouts Title match
Taylor held her newly won title in the air. Kong attacked her before the bell. Kong thwarted a comeback attempt by Taylor at 3:00. Tenay said this dream may turn into a nightmare for Taylor. Taylor caught Kong on the top rope and armdragged her to the mat leading to a two count. Taylor ducked a spinning backfist and schoolboyed Kong. She then followed up seconds later by avoiding an Awesome Bomb and using a victory roll for another upset win. "You're kidding! What!?" said Tenay. "Oh my god, she did it again. You talk about an opportunist."
WINNER: Taylor in 5:00 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Not a lot of time given to it. The idea of the undersized Taylor "having Kong's number" is an interesting ongoing storyline. It's too bad they did space out Taylor's win and this rematch enough to build up Taylor with fans for a couple weeks first as the crowd wasn't as behind Taylor as they should have been given the valiant upset win she was given against the queen heel of the division.
-After the match, Kong jumped Taylor in the aisle. Then Kong and Saeed double-teamed Taylor in the ring. Abyss came out to make the save. Tenay said they're beginning to see a pattern. Kong showed no fear. Saeed stepped between Abyss and Kong for Kong's own good. Kong backed out of the ring at Saeed's orders. Saeed then got in Abyss's face. He gave Saeed a Black Hole Slam. Tenay said Jim Cornette, who wasn't in Houston, wouldn't like that.
-Another Booker segment aired. He said he was at one of his establishments called Sharmell's. He told the server to be sure to water down all the booze and shrink the portions. He said the TNA Title would do wonders for their properties and businesses. Sharmell complained about the lack of apples in her salad.
-They showed a clip of Houston's Space City USA tourist attraction.
-A video feature aired on the Ultimate X.
-Tenay and West then talked about the point standings in the World X Cup. Team TNA has six points, Team Japan, 4 points, and Team International and Team Japan have three points each. The winner of the Ultimate X gets four points, so any team can win the tournament.
6 -- DAIVARI vs. KAZ vs. NARUKI DOI vs. VOLADOR JR. -- Ultimate X World Cup Finale
There were a few early attempts to get the X. When Volador went for the X hanging above the ring, Kaz sent Doi into Volador to knock him to the mat. Doi then went for the win at 7:00. Kaz climbed up to meet him and knocked him to the mat for a flat-back bump. Volador met Kaz center ring. Daivari then moved toward Kaz and kicked Kaz to the mat. Volador then powerbombed Daivari to the mat. A "TNA, TNA" chant broke out. Daivari and Kaz fought to the top of the met towers holding the ropes for the X to hang on. Daivari climbed toward the X. Kaz leaped off of the tower and legdropped Daivari off of the ropes. Volador then grabbed the X to win the match.
WINNER: Volador at 12:00 so Team Mexico wins the World X Cup.
STAR RATING: ** -- It had some spectacular (and ridiculously dangerous looking) spots, but it did end up feeling short for a match of that caliber.
-Tenay presented the World X Cup trophy to Team Mexico. The crowd jeered a bit, but was mostly indifferent, as Tenay interviewed Team Mexico through a translator regarding their victory.
-Part four of the Booker T Homecoming video series aired with Booker on a golf course that he claimed he owned. He claimed that his "Booker Tee" is guaranteed to knock four or five strokes off of his game.
-Frank Trigg joined Tenay and West on commentary.
7 -- A.J. STYLES & CHRISTIAN CAGE & RHINO vs. TEAM 3D & KURT ANGLE - Full Metal Mayhem
A six-man brawl broke out at the start. Styles hit nice dives early. Rhino hit a spinebuster for a near fall early. Christian hit Ray with a trash can a couple times leading to a two count. Styles springboard dove at Ray for another two count. By 5:00 the heels took control and sandwiched Rhino with two ladders in center-ring. Styles springboarded off of a ladder and onto Ray for a near fall. Christian climbedto the top of the tower left over from the Ultimate X match and dove onto all three heels in center ring. He covered Ray and scored a three count. Nice move, but it's somewhere between ridiculous and ludicrous that a move like that isn't the finisher.
Ray was back on his feet in seconds, hitting Styles with a chair, showing no ill effects from the top of the tower dive by Christian. Rhino began hitting everyone with a Gore at 7:00. Trigg said Rhino scares him a bit and he thinks he's the only one with the ability to beat Angle because of his animal tenacity. Ray lifted Rhino onto his shoulders and then Devon clotheslined Rhino through a table. Devon grabbed at his ankle afterward, having landed awkwardly on it. Ouch. Devon got back up, but Christian clotheslined him back to the mat. Christian then set up an Unprettier on Angle. Angle flipped out of it and went for one himself, but then dropped Christian into an anklelock in center-ring. Christian rolled through for a near fall.
Christian went to the top rope. Angle met him up there. Christian bit him. Devon gave Christian a low-blow. Team 3D gave Christian a 3D through a table at ringside as Christian dove at them. Styles went to work on Angle, but Ray hit Styles with a trash can over the head. Styles came back with an enzuigiri. Trigg complained about West and Tenay overhyping Styles. At 12:00 Ray surprised Styles with a superkick. Ray said nobody knew he had that in him. Devon struggled to get around on his bad ankle as it probably began to really swell up inside his boot. Styles made a comeback with a low punch as Ray climbed to the second rope. Styles yanked Ray through a table on the floor, then he gave Angle the Styles Clash in mid-ring for a believable near fall at 14:00. Devon entered the ring and swung a kendo stick at Styles. Styles ducked and hit Devine with a Pele kick and then his own kendo stick. Styles poined the Kendo stick at Trigg at ringside. Angle surprised Styles from behind with an Olympic slam for a near fall.
Angle slid a table into the ring, then set up a ladder. Angle shoved the ref, who tripped on the table and began selling his ankle. Angle set up a table and set up an Olympic slam. Styles slipped out and set Angle on the table. Trigg left the announce table with a kendo stick in hand. He hit Styles with the stick. Angle then gave Styles a suplex off the ladder onto the table. Angle then hooked Styles's leg and scored the three count. Trigg was show smiling wide at ringside. Angle saluted him.
WINNERS: Angle & Team 3D in 17:00.
STAR RATING: **3/4 -- A clustermess of a match in a lot of ways, and a real lack of long-term selling with overkill in terms of big spots, but at the same time entertaining start to finish. So flawed but hardly boring.
-Borash interviewed Joe backstage. Kevin Nash approached him and wished him luck. Joe said if he's really is friend and partner, no matter what he sees, don't go to the ring. Nash shook on it and said, "If that's what it takes to prove that I'm on your side, no matter what, I'll stay in the back."
-A video feature aired on Samoa Joe and Booker T.
8 -- SAMOA JOE vs. BOOKER T -- TNA World Hvt. Title match
Tenay said they were curious what the reaction would be from Booker's hometown fans. Tenay said fans have greeted him with cheers. Sharmell was applauding from the front row with a big smile on her face. The crowd didn't give Samoa Joe much reaction, but mostly scattered boos. Tenay said Joe's face was as intense as he's ever seen it. Nice opening few minutes with a good steady build of back and forth spots. Joe milked the reaction of the pro-Booker crowd well. At 4:00 Booker threw Joe through the ropes to the floor. Joe fought back with chops. Booker fired back with a clothesline. Sharmell's facial reactions to Booker's offense were great. She's a rare character in wrestling who can get away with going all-out with her facial expressions without seeming like she's hosting a TV show aimed at toddlers. Joe came up bleeding from a shot to the stairs. Back in the ring, Booker kicked Joe to the mat and scored a two count. Booker methodically dominated until 8:00 when Joe caught a charging Booker with an elbow and a boot and then a kick off the second rope leading to a two count.
Joe dominated for several minutes, including at ringside. Sharmell told Joe to stop the beating "for the love of god," then slapped her. Joe began hitting Sharmell's bodyguards at ringside. Booker came up bleeding at 14:00. Joe pounded away at Booker relentlessly at ringside. With the first ref down, a second ref came out and ordered Joe to stop the beatdown. A third ref came out. Joe clotheslined one and DDT'd the other. West said Joe has snapped. Two TNA officials walked out to try to talk some calm into Joe, but Joe backed them right back out. Joe then slammed Booker as soon as Booker showed a sign of life. Security from the back ran in and Joe knocked each of them down easily. West said Joe was destroying anyone in his path just to get at Booker T. Sharmell walked into the ring and yelled for somebody to help. Booker had nothing left, staggering around the ring, easy prey for Joe. Joe applied his rear naked choke as Sharmell screamed. Tenay noted that Cornette wasn't present. Sting's music then played and the lights went out.
Sting walked to the ring. Joe let go of Booker and then looked at Sting. Joe walked up to Sting who lectured him about going too far. Joe seemed receptive to the advice. Sting walked down the steps and Joe followed. Tenay said Sting is the voice of reason. Sting walked all the way to the back. Joe stopped half way and went back after Booker. Sting entered the ring and pulled Joe off of Booker. He yelled at Joe, "You've made your point." Joe gave him the finger and said, "F--- you." Sting hit Joe in hte gut with the bat, then hit him across his back. Booker then covered joe. Sharmell crawled over and counted to three. West said, "That doesn't mean anything." The crowd didn't know how to respond, but mostly let out a few scattered boos. Booker's music played. Sharmell took Joe's belt off of the announce table and draped it over Booker's shoulder. Booker didn't seem to know where he was. Tenay said he may have the belt, but he never beat Joe.
WINNER: No decision.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Good start to what might have been a decent match, but far from a satisfying finish for $30.
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