Sunday, 16 September 2007

TNA Victory Road 2006 on TWC - TV Review

It’s that time of the month again where I break out my usual starting line as Total Non-Stop Action gives us Victory Road, shown on a one week delay on The Wrestling Channel here in Britain, with our usual hosts for the evening, Mike Tenay and Don West.

We kick off the show with tag-team action, as the Diamonds in the Rough, Elix Skipper and David Young, take on the Naturals, Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas, who now have Shane Douglas as their mentor. It’s an okay opener, with the newly re-launched Naturals getting a little sloppy at times, with Douglas getting the pin on Skipper after drop-kicking him from the top rope, as Stevens held his man high. Afterwards, the Franchise returned to the ring, unhappy with the Naturals despite their victory.

After Tenay and West run down the rest of the card, Jeremy Borash interviews Christian Cage about his chances in the four way later in the show. Christian looks confident.

Next up, Monty Brown makes a return to pay-per-view, answering the challenge of the man who claims to be the true ECW champion, Rhino. It’s a hard-hitting brawl between the two monsters, as both guys hold nothing back. After referee Andrew Thomas takes a Brown pounce and a Rhino gore, both men began to brawl around the arena, even pushing a few security guards around as other referees come down to the ring and call for a double disqualification, just as the fight went out to the car park.

Backstage, Borash interviews Konnan and the LAX, before we go back to more tag action as Homicide and Hernandez face the new team of Sonjay Dutt and Ron Killings. A quick word to the ring announcer again - Bombay doesn’t exist anymore - it’s now called Mumbai! Now there’s something about Homicide in TNA that’s been bothering me recently, and it finally dawned on me what it was in this match - ROH’s Homicide, the wrestler, has become nothing more than a brawler in TNA, and that’s a shame, because it detracts from his performances. Killings and Dutt really impressed as a team, as did Hernandez with his power displays, especially with the finish, as he threw Dutt across the ring with a razor’s edge like move, which earned him and the LAX the victory.

After we get the usual awful backstage interview from Scott Steiner, the former Team Canada come to the ring for their final appearance together. After Scott D’Amore sings the praises of Petey Williams, Bobby Roode and A-1, D’Amore blames Eric Young for the break-up of the team. The Coach humiliates Young, stripping him of his Canadian colours, and telling him he’s going to get fired. As D’Amore leaves Young alone in the ring, Young earns the sympathy of the crowd as the “don’t fire Eric” chants begin.

Backstage, Borash chats with X Champion Senshi, who has no worries about who his mystery opponent is. Moments later he finds out that he’s defending his title against the returning Frankie Kazarian. Ever since the X-Division began, we’ve all come to expect a certain type of match from these guys. However, this wasn’t that sort of match. Although it was okay in it’s own way, it certainly wasn’t an X-Division match, and that’s what made it a little disappointing, with Senshi getting the win with the double foot stomp from the top rope.

We then get a few words from Larry Zybyszko, who talks to Borash about the hair match with Raven. However, they’re interrupted by Slick Johnson, who tries a bit of brown nosing. As for the match itself, it just wasn’t that good. Raven looks as rough as hell at the moment, probably because of his recent health problems, and as for Zybyszko, he was a great wrestler years ago, but not in 2006. Thankfully it didn’t last that long, with Raven taking Zybyszko out after two DDTs, and then shaving his head at ringside, so old Larry can go off and get that hair restoration surgery he’s been craving for so long.

Backstage, Borash interviews Kevin Nash and Alex Shelley, who have Johnny Devine with them for company, as they talk about their upcoming match against Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin, before we return to the Impact Zone for the tag match, as Nash’s bastardisation of the X Division continues. It was really hard to get into this one, because Nash in the X Division is a joke, and whenever he was in the ring, with his slow and plodding style, the crowd went silent, but came alive again when Sabin, Lethal and Shelley came into the match. Sabin and Lethal really took it to Shelley, with Sabin getting the roll-up for the pin. Afterwards, Nash and Devine’s sneak attack was interrupted by current road agent Jerry Lynn, who threw down a challenge to Nash.

Backstage, Borash interviews Team 3-D about their upcoming six man match against the James Gang and Abyss, with the usual responses from the former Dudleys. After the slightly disappointing previous match, this was just what the doctor ordered, a weapons filled fight that’s just as entertaining as anything ECW is currently offering, although the ending didn’t quite come off, as Abyss black hole slammed Brother Runt through a table that almost didn’t break. But despite this slight hiccup, it was still an entertaining match.

More interview time as Borash chats with America’s Most Wanted and Gail Kim about their NWA tag-team title match against A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels and their new Chyna wannabe, Sirelda. AMW praise themselves to the heavens. This was a bout so good that not even Sirelda’s fluffed moves could spoil it, with some great moves throughout from both teams, and another example of how Gail Kim is under-used as a wrestler. The end came when Harris accidentally clobbered Storm with a chair, and Styles got the roll-up to get the title retaining win.

Main event time, as Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner, Christian Cage and Sting fight for the right to face Jeff Jarrett for the NWA World title. Early on, Jarrett came into the ring disguised as a cameraman, and threw petrol into Sting’s eyes. As Sting was taken out for medical attention, Jarrett was thrown out of the building. Steiner was his usual plodding self, although his elbow on Joe through a table looked good. However, it was the exchanges between Joe and Cage that were the best thing in this match. Later on Sting took inspiration from Terry Funk and returned to the ring with his eye patched over, and moments later he got the pin on Steiner after a scorpion death drop. Am I the only one who was disappointed by this finish?

In conclusion - a mixture of the good and bad from the TNA crew here, as we still have to put up with plodding dinosaurs like Bash and Steiner, when we really should be seeing more from the likes of Rhino, Monty Brown, Samoa Joe and Christian Cage. Add to that the fact that the self-styled new face of professional wrestling is giving us Jarrett v Sting next month, I can’t help but think it would have been better if one of these “new faces” had the chance next month.