TNA Wrestling presented “Victory Road” on PPV from Orlando, Florida featuring what should have been double-main-events as Jeff Hardy issued his rematch against Sting for the TNA World Title in a No Disqualification Match, and Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson battled in a Number-One Contender’s Match.
Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer had a vintage (Michael Cole™) ECW wrestling match, with fan interactions and all. Weapons included: chairs, water, guard rails, toys, kendo sticks, trash cans, metal signs, and a table. Bully Ray provoked Devon to witness Dreamer go through the table, and instead was greeted by Terrence and Terrell. Devon (now in the ring) waited for Ray to turn around and, together with Dreamer, executed the 3D Death Drop. The only thing going through my mind at that moment was, “Dreamer, don’t screw this up!” as he went for the Cutter and picked up the victory. Finally, vindication.
The TNA Knockout Tag Team Match favored Angelina Love and Winter whom, with ninety-days as the champions, showcased proficient tag team chemistry throughout their match. The girls cut the ring in half, frequent tags, and avoided special double team moves from the challengers Sarita and Rosita. However, with Referee Earl Hebner distracted with Love and Sarita on the outside, Rosita about to clock Winter with a title belt, and Velvet Sky’s attempt to rescue Winter backfiring, TNA crowned new Knockout Tag Team Champions. Which is sad, because Love and Winter worked well together, while Sarita and Rosita could not click as a unit.
The First Blood match between Matt Morgan and Hernandez was one of the worst worked matches. Morgan struck Super-Mex’s forehead with a steel chain wrapped around his first, who crawls to the corner underneath his bandana to blade himself. Hernandez then squirted decoy blood on Morgan, and instead of Referee Jackson James (who was outside dealing with a rowdy fan) checking Morgan first, he stops to check on Hernandez. And everyone could see that his forehead was cut open, but Jackson James turns around (finally, dumbass) to see the blood on Morgan and calls the match. How does he not notice the major cut on Hernandez’ forehead, or that there were no cuts on Morgan’s body? Sorry Bischoff, but it’s time to fire your son.
The Ultimate X Match had all the high risk, high-flying, high monkey spots capacity that fans have come to expect from the X-Division. Kazarian, the defending champion, climbed the top turnbuckle, jumped over Generation Me, grabbed the overhead cable, and almost unhooked his title. Later on, Max Buck had a clear opportunity to climb the cables and unstrap the belt after launching his brother with a wicked moonsault to the outside, but his reliance on his younger brother Jeremy cost him. Soon after, Robbie-E executed a devastating tower powerbomb with Jeremy and Kazarian on top. The partnership between brothers Jeremy and Max boiled over as the two battled on the suspension cables trying to unhook the strap. Robbie-E (finally using his head) sets up a ladder directly to the belt, but Kazarian who was catwalking over the cables, overpowered Jersey to retain his championship. There is a reason why Ultimate X is considered the signature match for the X-Division, it can make, break, or end careers. Kazarian proved why he is the X-Division champion as he continues to cement his legacy as the best X champion of all time.
Fortune’s Beer Money successfully defended the TNA World Tag Team belts against Ink, Inc. The challengers looked as if they would win the match after Jesse Neal speared James Storm to the outside, followed by a neck breaker to Robert Roode with a cutter from Shannon Moore for a close 3-count. Moore lost his composure when he went to use his book of DILLIGAF as a weapon, which would have disqualified them. But a Last Call superkick by Storm to Neal, followed by a DWI double team on Moore, won Beer Money the match. The aftermath told the real story as Jesse went to shake Beer Money’s hands, and Shannon sprayed mist into their faces. Shannon Moore, aggravated over coming up short, tells Neal that they will not win championships with that mentality (respecting the code of honor?).
Impressive bout between AJ Styles and Matt Hardy, as Hardy continues to work through his ring rust, and Styles proving why he is phenomenal. At one point of the match, Matt motioned to the crowd to get out-of-the-way to Irish whip Styles to the barricade, but Styles baseball slid underneath, jumped on the barricade, and delivered a flying forearm smash. Hardy later caught Styles in the Scar double underhook bodyscissors submission hold, with Styles trying to leverage Hardy’s shoulders to the mat before ultimately draping his leg on the bottom rope to break the hold. Throughout various points in the match, Ric Flair (watching from ringside) pulled out every dirty play in the book: grabbing Styles’ crotch with the Testicular claw, knife-edge chops, and trying to distract Senior referee Earl Hebner. But in the end, it was Styles with the Spiral Tap corkscrew somersault that granted him the victory. Styles had not used the Spiral Tap in years, breaking it out in a big way on pay-per-view. The Phenomenal One is truly back, after thirteen months under the control of Ric Flair.
Who’s the new number one contender: Rob Van Dam or Mr. Anderson? The difference maker in the match was when RVD went for the corkscrew leg drop and landed on the barricade as Anderson moved out-of-the-way just in time. The pace of the match before this moment was dictated by RVD, with his specialized style offense, while Anderson is more of a ground and pound type of wrestler. Anderson went for a single leg Boston crab, a basic wrestling maneuver that I have not seen utilize in TNA in quite some time, trying to take out RVD’s greatest asset – his legs. Despite the great offense from both men, neither man won the contender’s match due to a double-count out, after Anderson struck RVD with The Mic Check on the entrance ramp. Could we finally see these two men earn their respective title shots, or are they both out of the running?
Jeff Hardy claimed that the reason for losing his TNA World Championship to Sting was because he was unprepared, he didn’t know who his opponent would be on March 3rd, (shouldn’t the AntiChrist be able to foresee this type of thing?) but the opportunity at Victory Road meant that there would be no more excuses for Jeff Hardy. Eric Bischoff (because Hardy could not prepare for Sting’s arrival) issued that the match would be a No Disqualification Match. But it made no difference because Sting defeated Hardy in a matter of seconds with the Scorpion Death Drop. What the hell was that about?
Dirt Sheet sources indicate that the reason the main event was so short was because Jeff Hardy was in no condition to wrestle. Sting was said to be a complete professional about the entire situation but was clearly pissed after the match. People within the company are reportedly very upset that Hardy was even sent to the ring, when it was clear to people backstage that he should never have been sent out. Also, people within the company felt that the card should have been reshuffled so that the company would not have been embarrassed like they were last night. Many people within the company are very upset right now, because the company came off looking bad, and because the situation is representative of greater problems that plague the company.