July 08, 2010
Previewing Victory Road 2010
Brother Ray vs. Brother Devon vs. Jesse Neal
Wow. So I guess it's finally official; TNA have completely run out of things to do with Team 3D. The fact that they're feuding against each other now is uninteresting enough, but the fact that they're feuding because of Brother Ray's treatment of Jesse Neal only raises my disinterest to atmospheric heights.
I keep asking this question and no one has been able to give me an answer: what in the world does TNA see in Jesse Neal? He won't be the worst worker on the roster as long as idiots like Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry are still there, but in a locker room full of amazing young talent, he hardly stands out as a guy deserving of a push like this. I appreciate 3D being so willing to put over young guys, but Neal is just the wrong person to be getting this rub, especially when infinitely more talented stars like Amazing Red and Generation Me are sitting on the bench doing nothing.
I really don't care about this match at all and I'm not expecting it to be particularly good either. How weird is it that in a feud between Team 3D & Ink Inc, the best worker of the group, Shannon Moore, is the one guy who isn't in this match? Whatever. The saving grace of this feud is that it's keeping both teams away from the tag titles.
Who should win: Jesse Neal. I may not see anything in him, but Ray & Devon have been doing everything they can to get this guy over, and who am I to discourage veterans from putting over a young star? Here's hoping this will be the end of this program and 3D can move on to feuding with a more deserving team like Generation Me.
Ric Flair vs. Jay Lethal
This has been one of the better feuds on the show lately, but the match itself is academic. One man is a hot, young rising star, the other is over 60 and already "retired" a couple years ago. I don't care if Ric Flair is a legend and I don't care how many world championships he's amassed. The bottom line is it's a young man's business and it hurts me to watch Ric Flair still trying to compete in the ring.
Who should win: There's only one way this match should end. Flair would gain nothing from beating Lethal, but Lethal would gain a lot from beating Flair. If Jay Lethal DOESN'T win this match, then there is something horribly and fundamentally wrong with this company.
STEEL CAGE MATCH
Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
Does anyone have any idea why this is a steel cage match? They haven't even had a regular match yet! The feud has been fine, but to put them in a cage this early is just stupid because it leaves them with nowhere to go afterward unless they plan on reuniting LAX and having them feud with Morgan and a new partner. I say yes to the former and no to the latter. Morgan should be getting a singles push and Hernandez was more over when he was teaming with Homicide.
Then there's the issue of there also being an Ultimate-X on this PPV. Having this match in addition to that one dilutes the importance of both IMO. This really should not be a cage match.
Who should win: Hernandez. Supermex just recently returned from his "injury" and he needs some momentum. Morgan could really use this win too, but I think Hernandez needs it a little more, especially if this match is going to end the feud.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE vs. CAREER
Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne (c)
How many times have I called Madison Rayne a lame duck champion by now? I've lost count. She hasn't impressed in the ring, she hasn't really gotten over unless the other members of TBP are standing next to her. About the only thing she's succeeded at is inexplicably being able to get her challengers to put their careers on the line despite them having absolutely no reason to do so. Unfortunately, that has less to do with her and more to do with the writers not taking the time to get her title matches to make sense.
I'm not sure what Angelina did to become #1 contender, but beggers can't be choosers at this point. Madison as the champion hasn't worked because she's just not an alpha; she doesn't have the tools to be the top woman in the company and everyone knows it. Angelina's previous title reigns were pretty lackluster thanks to bad booking, but she's the lesser of 2 evils in this situation. They need a woman that they genuinely want to devote TV time to to be the focal point, and of the 4 women the writers seem to feel that way about, Angelina is the only one who should be wearing a title belt under any circumstances.
Who should win: Angelina Love
X-DIVISION TITLE: win by either submission or claiming the title belt
Brian Kendrick vs. Douglas Williams (c)
A match that heavily favors the high flyer between 2 guys who are not high flyers. Only in TNA, folks.
Seriously, I have a bad feeling about this one. It could potentially be good, but this is just a really awkward pairing of guys to put in an Ultimate-X, and the submission stipulation absolutely reeks of Overbooking 101: the Russo edition.
Part of me finds it incredibly refreshing to see an Ultimate-X with just 2 guys in a feud rather than 10 guys in a random match with no story attached, but I can still see dark clouds hovering over this one. Even if the submission stip was not included, it would still feel like a bad idea to me.
They need at least one high flyer to make this match worth doing IMO. Since Jeremy Buck got the non-title win over Williams in the ladder match on the go-home show, they have a perfect excuse to add him to the match. If he's not getting the next title shot, then he absolutely should be included here (unless GenMe are AJ & Kazarian's opponents), otherwise the champion will look weak when he's finally started to gain momentum. Hopefully the writers will get a clue and consider this option.
Who should win: Douglas Williams. TNA may have something with this technical wrestling vs. glorified acrobats feud, and what better way to put the champion over the top as a heel than to have him beat the high flyers at their own game? Now if only his opponent in this match was actually a high flyer...
AJ Styles & Kazarian vs. ????
I'm not exactly sure why this match is taking place on Victory Road when AJ vs. Kazarian was on iMPACT. Maybe that will be made clear at the PPV or maybe it was just more of Russo's bass-ackwards booking. Either way, without knowing who their opponents are, it's impossible to theorize how the match will go. If Jeremy Buck isn't added to the Ultimate-X match, then Generation Me should be the opponents -- that match up would be awesome. Come to think of it, GenMe may be the only tag team on the roster that isn't already booked for this PPV, so that would make perfect sense.
Who should win: The mystery opponents. The tension between AJ & Kazarian has only been escalating, so I guess this all depends on how long the writers want to draw this out. I'd say they should lose this match by having one of them accidentally causing the other to get pinned due to a miscommunication.
Who should be the mystery opponents: Generation Me
TAG TEAM TITLES: winners become the new titleholders
Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns
I will never NOT support Sabin & Shelley in a tag team title match until such time that they finally win those God damn belts. They've been a team in TNA for 3+ years and are looooooooong overdue for a title reign. Granted, after their numerous losses recently, Beer Money could really use a boost right now too, but they don't need it as much. They're still aligned with Ric Flair (I think), so even if they're not the champions, they've still got the Nature Boy talking them up. They also have several previous title reigns to their credit. Storm & Roode would certainly benefit from having the tag titles, but not nearly as much as the MCMG would. It's high time the Guns got a chance to run with the ball -- they should've been tag team champions a long time ago and the writers need to pull their heads out of their asses and finally make this right.
Who should win: MCMG
#10 Kurt Angle VS #8 D'Angelo Dinero
It's a credit to both men that after one promo segment this was already one of my most anticipated matches for this PPV. There isn't much of a storyline, but in this case, there really doesn't need to be. They both want to be the world champion and want to work their way through the top 10 ranked heavyweights to earn a shot at the title. It's simple and yet more effective than a lot of other things TNA are doing right now. That and the fact that this match is happening on PPV (like Angle's match w/ Desmond Wolfe should have) makes it, and the world title, feel important. If only the writers applied this philosophy to more of the show...
Who should win: Kurt Angle. The Pope really shouldn't be losing matches this soon after his return, but as we saw with Kazarian last month, a wrestler doesn't have to win the match to get put over when his opponent is Kurt Angle.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss vs. Rob Van Dam (c)
Based on the build up for this, it's not really a question of who the champion will be after this match, but whether that champion will be Rob Van Dam or Abyss. Abyss's character rehabilitation has been going better than I would've expected since he ditched the magic ring nonsense and returned to his monster persona and he probably has the most momentum out of these 4 guys, but it remains to be seen if that will last. He's had trouble in the past with maintaining his crowd heat for extended periods (mostly due to bad booking) and I'd like to see them keep him away from championships until he proves that he can get over and stay over. Besides, if there is even a sliver of truth to that horrifying rumor that Hogan is pushing for Abyss to go over here so their planned match at Bound For Glory would be for the world title, Abyss becoming world champion is the LAST THING IN THE WORLD that should happen.
Who should win: Rob Van Dam. If we're thinking about the Bound for Glory Main event, TNA's best bet at this point is to slowly build up to RVD defending against Kurt Angle.
FINAL THOUGHTS: There are a few more hiccups on this card than I would like, but on paper this looks like a really good PPV -- certainly better than Slammiversary looked this time last month. However, I still reserve the right to bitch if it doesn't turn out well.
The card is more well thought out than many of TNA's recent ones and surprisingly, the build up has been much improved as well, which has definitely helped. As of right now, I think this could potentially be a really solid show or a really mediocre show depending on the execution. Considering how all the other PPV offerings of the Hogan/Bischoff regime have gone, I'm guessing it will be the latter when it's all said and done, but there's reason to be hopeful if the rumors are true about Tommy Dreamer being added to the creative team.
If they pull it off as it is right now, this could very well turn out to be the best PPV of the new regime so far. But if they try to get unnecessarily creative with the finishes or add new matches, new stipulations or new gimmicks at the last minute as Russo is so fond of doing, we could be in for more of the same old crap.
We shall see...