Join me at 8:00 pm EST for LIVE coverage of TNA Victory Road.
We start with a weird mashup of recent TNA coverage, along with JFK’s address to the nation before we put a man on the moon. I… have no idea why.
And we are LIVE from Houston, which happens to be Booker T’s hometown, in case you missed it. Lauren Brook is ringside with BG James, who can still bring it on the mic when he feels like it.
First Match: World X Cup: 12 Man Elimination Match: Team Japan vs. Team Mexico vs. Team International vs. Team TNA One of the Japanese guys comes to ringside with one of those “invisible dog” leash/harness things. Those Japanese – they’re so WHACKY. Team Mexico and TNA has 3 points each so far, the other two have 2 points each. The winner of this match gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2, 3rd place gets 1. Masado Yoshino and Curry Man start. Yoshino is the fastest man I’ve ever seen run the ropes, so Curry Man challenges him to a race – and trips Yoshino before he takes 2 steps. Wow… this is going to be a mess. Tyson Dukes and Doug Williams pull some nice double-team striking moves on Sabin. Mexico tags in, and they getl an impressive double-press slam on Dukes, followed by a Victory Roll attempt that sees Dukes get slammed on the back of his head. 1-2-3, he’s the first out. (His team is still in, but he’s eliminated.) Team Japan gets a chance to shine, and they get all Dragon Gate-y. Averno (Mexico) hits a face-first double-underhook slam on Puma, and that’s enough for a 3-count. Milano Collection AT (from Team Japan) avoids a top-rope clothelines from Sabin with a Matrix dodge, followed by a Dragon Screw leg-whip. Milano goes for a half-crab on Sabin, Shelley runs in to save, but gets taken down with a drop toe-hold. Milano stacks up the Guns, and gets a double half-crab (yes, a half-crab on both men at the same time). Well, that’s something new. Curry Man breaks that up with a chop. Sabin comes back with a series of spin kicks, and finishes with the Cradle Drop for 3. Yoshino gets the crap beat out of him, but keeps pulling out counter-moves, until he manages to pin Averno with a roll-up. Alex Koslov (a Russian guy on Team International) hits an amusing “Cossack Dance” move on Curry Man – basically, a series of three deep-knee bends followed by kicks to the face. Sabin puts an end to that with a Superkick. It breaks down to a series of varying one-on-one match-ups for a bit, with a few finishing moves where the pinfalls are broken up by a random participant. Ultimo Guerrero turns a top-rope hurricanrana attempt from Curry Man into a top-rope powerbomb, and eliminates Curry. Team Mexico hits a twisting senton on Doug Williams for another pinfall. Koslov hits a Russian leg-sweep into cobra clutch on the mat, and Ultimate Guerrero.. .taps out? And exactly why did his partner stand at ringside and just watch? Sabin hits a MASSIVE top-rope rana on Rey Buchanero (Mexico). The Motor City Machine Guns get a double side-kick to the head on Buchanero, who is eliminated. So, we’re down to four: Sabin, Shelley, Yoshino, and Koslov. Now, we get even more Dragon Gate-y: Sabin puts Yoshino on the top turnbuckle, Koslov tries to interfere but gets kicked, Sabin sets up Koslov for a powerbomb, Shelley runs up Koslov’s back to deliver a top-rope jawbreaker to Yoshino. Koslov is put on Yoshino’s shoulders, Shelley holds them up, and Sabin hits a springboard dropkick to the back of Koslov’s head. Sabin covers Yoshino… for 2?? Sabin with a decapitation clothesline on Koslove for another 2. Koslov uses some ref interference to get a rope-assisted roll-up on Sabin for a suprise 3. Yoshino goes berserk on Koslov, ending up in the strangest-looking submission move I’ve ever seen. But it works – Koslov taps. Yoshino and Shelley trade chops, Yoshino nails a lariat, and a hesitation missile dropkick for 2. Shelley counters with a superkick and Sliced Bread – for 2. Shelley up top – frog splash hits knees. Another 2 count. Head scissors by Yoshino countered to a front suplex, followed by a Tiger Suplex… for 2 AGAIN. Yoshino placed on the top turnbuckle, fights out, gets a top-rope neck-tie for 2. Shelley now put up top, he fights out, hits a top-rope atomic drop, into a Celtic Cross, and that finally gets the 1-2-3.
Winner: Alex Shelley
“Cribs”, starring Booker T. Hey, T has the key to the city of Houston. Think he’s ever tried to open up a bar at 4am with that?
Second Match: Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim Love attacks from behind while Kim is soaking in the cheers. Eh, serves her right. They trade forearms, and Gail takes over with chops, and a corner clothesline. Velvet Skye interfers from outside, and Love gets a 2 count. Serious hair-pulling ensues, and a blatant choke. Kim fights back, stopped with a clothesline, another 2 count. Love gets an eye-poke and a nice leg lariat for 2. Hooks both legs: still just 2. Kim avoids a blind charge, and gets a figure four around the ringpost (but stays on one leg). Skye interferes again, but is tossed into the ringside barrier. Kim caught on the top rope, SUPERPLEX by Love. 2 count. Scissor-kick misses, Kim with two clotheslines and a dropkick. Love reverses to a roll-up for 2. Kim with a spear, a back-cracker to the sternum, and the handcuff neckbreaker for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Gail Kim
Post-match shenanigans: Velvet Skye attacks Kim from behind and beats her down. Love tries to keep her top on, the Beautiful People try to put the brown paper bag on Kim, and Kim decides to get out of Dodge quickly.
Backstage with BG James again, who has some fired-up fans who are practicing strap shots onto a couple of mannequins.
Third Match: “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt vs. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal Dutt hands So Cal Val a letter and a rose before the match starts. Lethal responds with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Lethal with punches, a leg lariat, and a double-sledge off the top rope. Dutt back with a jawbreaker. Lethal with an arm drag into a seated dropkick for 2. A nice sequence then, with multiple moves just missing their target: a nice way to establish that these two do know each other well. Dutt tries to pull of the “crazy eyes”, but ends up looking like he’s posing for his junior high portrait. Dutt with a senton, into a standing moonsault for 2. Lethal with snakes eyes, into a release german suplex. Sonjay stops the onslaught with a back elbow, tries for a tornado DDT, countered, 2nd rope missle dropkick, 2 count. Dutt spears Lethal into the corner, up top, Lethal fights out, Dutts gets a springboard top-rope rana for 2. Lethal back with a face-plant for 2. Val at ringside seems to get confused on which of her 3 facial expressions she’s supposed to use at any given point in time. They fight outside the ring, Lethal bounces Dutt’s head off the announce table a couple of times, and Val looks… let’s go with, “concerned”. Back in, Lethal gets a Texas Cloverleaf, while Dutt screams for Val to help him. Val climbs the step, Lethal yells at her to get back down, Dutt takes advantage with a lariat. Dutt crawls to the edge of the ring, and tells Val he loves her. Lethal pulls him back in, and his the Lethal Combination (backbreaker into a Stroke). Val climbs again, Lethal again distracted, Dutt gets the rope-assisted roll-up (again?) for 3.
Winner: Sonjay Dutt
Dutt kisses Val’s hand on his way out of the ring. Much angst follows.
JB is backstage with Robert Roode and James Storm. They yell a lot.
Fourth Match: TNA Tag Team Championship: Robert Roode and James Storm vs. LAX This is a “Fan’s Revenge” match, so there are 12 random “fans” around the ring, each holding a strap, each wearing an LAX shirt. Roode and Homicide start. They fight over a hammerlock, until Homicide uses his momentum to send Roode to the floor, where the beatings will now commence. Storm tags in, and tosses Homicide out – who decides to grab Storm’s beer, take a few swigs, and share it with the fans. Storm takes offence, chases after Homicide – and of course, gets multiple straps across the back for that. Homicide tosses Storm over the top, but he skins the cat back in – but is then pulled down to the floor by Hector Guerrero, for more beatings. Back in, double-teams by LAX, 2 count. Homicide thrown to the floor, Storm ties a baseball slide, but gets caught in the apron by Homidice – more beatings. Back in, Three Amigos (w/”EDDIE!” chant) from Homicide. Roode finally gets a break with a spinebuster. Storm in, double-underhook for 2. Double vertical suplex for 2. The heels take advantage with a series of double-teams, including a Boston Crab with a kneedrop to the back of the head. Hernandez breaks it up. Homicide gets a desperation t-bone suplex, and finally makes the hot tag to Hernandez. Shoulder-block on Roode, overhead suplex on Storm, big back bodydrop on Roode, backbreaker on Storm. Roode stops a blind charge with a boot, but gets caught in a sit-out powerbomb for 2. Storm stops the next powerbomb attempt, they put Hernandez up top, he fights out, and gets a big splash on Roode. 1-2-broken up by Storm. Homicide back in, tornado DDT on Storm. Roode tossed to the floor for some strap shots, back in – Doomsday neckbreaker, 1-2-3.
We get a view into Booker T’s wrestling school.
Fifth Match: Knockout Championship: Awesome Kong vs. Taylor Wilde Kong knocks the belt out of Wilde’s hands, and goes on the attack. Wilde back with a couple of forearms, but that ends quickly with a shoulder block, and a splash for 2. Hairwhip, double chop, back fists, and a big chop. Wilde choked over the second rope. Bodyslam, into the cobra clutch. Wilde tries to fight out, gets to a base, but Kong drops her considerable backside onto Wilde’s spine, and re-applies the cobra clutch. Wilde grabs a handful of hair, and pulls her way out, only to be tossed to the corner – and followed with a splash. Wilde flips out of the AwesomeBomb, nails a couple of dropkicks, and then a missile dropkick – which just seems to piss Kong off. Kong to the second rope – Wilde pops up, elbows to the back of the head, and gets a second-rope arm drop for two. Kong up, spinning backfist is countered to a roll-up for 2. Kong back up, chokeslam is countered to a front roll-up for… 3? Wow.
Post-match, Wilde is attacked by Raisha Said, who tosses Wilde into the barrier, then back into the ring. Kong hits the implant buster, and sets up for an AwesomeBomb onto a steel chair… when Abyss shows up. Kong shows no fear, but when Abyss motions for the chokeslam, Said steps in and gets Kong out of the ring. Said then gets in Abyss’ face, screams at him a bit, and then slaps him right across the face. Abyss smiles – and nails Said with the Black Hole Slam. Abyss pulls Wilde out of the ring, and carries her backstage.
We visit Booker T’s restaurant, “Charmelle’s”.
We then delay for a bit while the Ultimate X match is set up.
Sixth Match: World X Cup: Ultimate X: Naruki Doi (Team Japan) vs. Volador Jr. (Team Mexico) vs. Daivari (Team International) vs. Kaz (Team TNA) Oh goody – more mayhem. Basic concept: there are two criss-crossing cables above the ring, with a gigantic red “X” hanging at the center. First person to pull down the “X” wins. And since this match is worth four points for the winner, that also means winning the World X Cup for your team. Kaz makes two immediate attempts to climb the cables, but gets pulled down by his feet both times. Volador gets on the cable, and drops onto Doi for a rana, only to get clothelined to the floor by Kaz. Daivari pulls Kaz outside the ring, and works on the arm. Kaz fights back, and tries to climb again, but his arm is too hurt. The three non-Team TNA wrestlers team up on Kaz for a bit, until Doi decides to flip off everyone else. Doi climbs, but gets pushed off the top of the tower by Daivari, who then gets pulled off the cables by Volador. Volador climbs, but Kaz leapfrogs Doi into him. Doi climbs, Kaz chases and kicks him down. Volador climbs from the other side, Kaz kicks him off too. Kaz on top of the X, but Daivari manages to push him off. Voldador then pulls Daivari off the cables into a powerbomb. Volador and Doi trade some flippy-flippy. Doi up again, missile dropkick from Volador stops him. Volador to the top turnbuckle – moonsault to the floor! Kaz and Daivari climb – they fight up top, Daivari starts to work his way across the cable. Kaz climbs to the top of the tower – and leaps off with a kick to Daivari, all the way down to the ring below. Volador Jr. back in, climbs up, gets across… and manages to unhook the X before Kaz can reach him.
Winner: Volador Jr.
Post-match, Team Mexico celebrates the World X Cup win. Yes, of course someone yells “Viva La Raza!”
Booker T has a “phenomenol” golf game, of course.
Frank Trigg joins the commentary team, and is now a total sellout for the heel Angle.
Seventh Match: Fan Stipulation Match: Team 3D and Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles, Christian Cage, and Rhyno The stipulation is, of course, Full Metal Mayhem. Angle attacks Styles as he approaches the ring, and it is on. Christian squares off against Ray, Rhyno against D-Von. AJ with a tope con hilo to Angle and D-Von. Spinebuster by Rhyno on Angle gets 1. Ray gets two on Rhyno. Cago introduces our first weapon – a trash can, for 2. Styles with a springboard forearm on Ray for 2. Team 3-D gets a double faceplant on Styles. Christian and Rhyno nail them with a ladder, only to get cracked with a chair by Angle immediately. Angle gets an overhead suplex on Christian, onto the ladder. Team 3-D gets the Malachi Crunch on Rhyno with ladders. Styles does a springboard to the top rope, then springboards to the top of the ladder for a monster flying forearm onto Ray. 1-2-the ref is pulled out of the ring by Angle. Angle and D-Von are in the ring, and it’s 3-on-1 on AJ. Cage climbs to the top of one of the Ultimate X towers, and splashes all three heels! He covers Angle, 1-2-no. Ray with chairshots to Cage and Styles. Rhyno in: GORE! GORE! GORE! (Literally – he hit all three.) Rhyno pulls in our first table, right in the middle of the ring. He sets up D-Von in the corner, but Ray stops that by putting Rhyno on his shoulders: Doomsday Device through the table! (D-Von may have legitimately injured his ankle here.) Ray covers – 2 count broken up by Christian. Cage gets a double-clothesline on Team 3-D, then has a counter-move clinic with Angle, until Kurt finally gets the Ankle Lock. Cage rolls through for 2. Christian up, Angle tries the pop-up superplex, Christian counters by gnawing on Angle’s head. Christian tries again, but D-Von catches him, and Cage eats a 3-D through a table at ringside. Styles inside the ring, nailed with a trashcan by Ray. Angle tries for a short-arm clotheline, but hits D-Von instead. Styles nails an enzuguiri on Angle, goes after Ray, but gets clocked by a superkick. (??) Ray: “Ya didn’t know I have that one, didja?” Uhhh – no, actually. AJ tries trading shots with Ray, but that doesn’t go well for AJ. Ray puts AJ on a table, climbs to the second turnbuckle, poses – and AJ responds with a cock-punch. AJ up,front suplex through the table. D-Von charges – he’s sent through another table in the corner. Angle in – tries for the Angle slam, roll-through, up, Styles Clash! 1-2-no! Johnny Devine is in the ring with a kendo stick – AJ ducks, Pele kick! Kendo to Devine, and he’s out of the ring. AJ points the kendo at Trigg at the commentary table (uhh – why?), Angle nails the Angle Slam, 1-2-no! Angle slides in a table, and sets it up parallel to a ladder. Styles fights out of another Angle Slam attempt, puts Angle on the table. Trigg: “Enough of this crap”, and he leaves the announce table. Styles climbs the ladder, but Trigg meets him up top, with a kendo stick to the head. Angle comes up after Styles, and gets an Angle Slam through the table. From there, it’s 1-2-3.
Winner: Team 3-D and Kurt Angle
Backstage with Samoa Joe, who has no doubt in his mind tonight. He makes Kevin Nash promise to stay in the back, no matter what happens.
Eighth Match: TNA Championship: Booker T vs. Samoa Joe The crowd seems to be decidedly more in favor of Booker than Joe. A feeling-out process to start, with Booker getting the better of most of the striking exchanges. Joe takes over with a series of chops, a back elbow, and a spinning roundhouse. Flying knee from Joe gets 2. Joe plays off the crowd heat, administering a slow beatdown to Booker. Booker finally gets a chance to toss him outside, Booker chases, sends him into the barrier, and the steel steps. And – Joe’s busted open over his right eye. Back in the ring, side kick from Booker for 2. “LET’S GO BOOKER” chant starts up. Ax kick countered into an atomic drop and a big boot. Senton splash misses, ax kick, 1-2-no. Booker with a heel kick for 2. They exchange shots, off the ropes – Joe nails a high knee. Joe gets a second rope dropkick for 2. Booker to the eyes, off the ropes, Joe with a powerslam for 2. Book End attempt reversed to a t-bone for 2. Ref gets taken out by Booker after a series of counter-moves. Joe hits a left-arm lariat, but the crowd is not appreciative. They go outside, and Booker takes a couple of shots into the guardrail, followed-up by a running kick to the head: right in front of Charmelle. Charmelle freaks out: “For the love of God, Joe – stop it!” And then she smacks him across the face. Eh – not the best way to get your message across. Joe flattens a couple of “bodyguards”, and then goes back to work on Booker, who is also busted open. Slick Johnson comes out to ref, and asks Joe to back off. Joe refuses, so Slick calls down some reinforcements. One other ref shows up, and they both try to force Joe off – Slick gets a clotheslins, while the other ref gets a groin shot and a DDT for their troubles. A couple of “TNA officials” show up, but can’t get back out of the ring quick enough. TNA Security enters the ring, one at a time, and they all get taken out. Charmelle now climbs into the ring, pleads with Joe, then pleads for anyone to come help (gosh, foreshadowing with Kevin Nash – whodathunk?). Joe puts Booker into a sleeper hold (or something similar), and Charmelle just starts freaking out. The lights go out… the guitar starts up… and this is Sting.
Sting comes down to ringside, and tells Joe: “You’ve gone too far!” Joe appears to listen, follows Sting up the ramp a bit.. and then runs back into the ring to administer more punishment to Booker. Sting back in, and pulls Joe off, by the hair. Sting: “You’ve made your point!” Joe: “Fuck you!” Joe grabs Booker, Sting grabs Joe and nails him with the baseball bat. Booker crawls on top of Joe, and Charmelle… does a three count? Booker T rolls out, grabs the belt, and walks up the ramp with it.
So, basically – chaos. I’m down.